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Osteology and ecology in the Mesozoic birds

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Old Wednesday 24th October 2018, 10:42   #1
Peter Kovalik
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Osteology and ecology in the Mesozoic birds

Keiichi Aotsuka. Evolution of osteology and ecology in the Mesozoic birds. Japanese Journal of Ornithology, Volume 67 (2018) Issue 1.


Since the 1990s, the avian fossil record has been greatly advanced with the oldest record found from the Upper Jurassic and a pan-global distribution discovered in the Cretaceous. Birds possess highly modified skeletal characteristics such as the pygostyle, keeled sternum, forelimbs developed as wings, and toothless jaws, all of which are considered to have evolved in relation to flight. Recent discoveries have also revealed that Mesozoic birds had made various ecological developments including sexual dimorphism and differential growth rates. Although the reasons for the limited diversification of flightless birds in the Mesozoic and for the survival of the Neornithes through the K-Pg mass extinction event are still not well understood, they may be attributed to environmental and physiological limitations. In this paper, I suggest that the development of flight capability, endothermy, and efficient digestive systems may have been involved in the diversification and wide geographical distribution of birds. Although physiological characteristics are rarely preserved in the fossil record, new fossil discoveries and advancements in research on soft tissue reconstruction might reveal more details of the ecology of extinct birds in the near future.
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Old Monday 3rd June 2019, 06:34   #2
Fred Ruhe
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Keiichi Aotsuka, 2018

Evolution of osteology and ecology in the Mesozoic birds.

Japanese Journal of Ornithology 67: 41-55

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