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A New Enantiornithine Bird with Unusual Pedal Proportions Found in Amber

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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 15:54   #1
Rafael Nascimento
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A New Enantiornithine Bird with Unusual Pedal Proportions Found in Amber

Lida Xing, Jingmai K. O’Connor, Luis M. Chiappe, Ryan C. McKellar, Nathan Carroll, Han Hu, Ming Bai & Fuming Lei

A New Enantiornithine Bird with Unusual Pedal Proportions Found in Amber

Current Biology 29, 1–6


Recent discoveries of vertebrate remains trapped in middle Cretaceous amber from northern Myanmar have provided insights into the morphology of soft-tissue structures in extinct animals, in particular, into the evolution and paleobiology of early birds. So far, five bird specimens have been described from Burmese amber: two isolated wings, an isolated foot with wing fragment, and two partial skeletons. Most of these specimens contain the remains of juvenile enantiornithine birds. Here, we describe a new specimen of enantiornithine bird in amber, collected at the Angbamo locality in the Hukawng Valley. The new specimen includes a partial right hindlimb and remiges from an adult or subadult bird. Its foot, of which the third digit is much longer than the second and fourth digits, is distinct from those of all other currently recognized Mesozoic and extant birds. Based on the autapomorphic foot morphology, we erect a new taxon, Elektorornis chenguangi gen. et sp. nov. We suggest that the elongated third digit was employed in a unique foraging strategy, highlighting the bizarre morphospace in which early birds operated.
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 17:34   #2
Fred Ruhe
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Systematic Paleontology

Aves Linnaeus 1758
Ornithothoraces Chiappe 1995
Enantiornithes Walker 1981
Elektorornis gen. nov.
Elektorornis chenguangi sp. nov.

HPG-15-2 (Hupoge Amber Museum, Tengchong City Amber Association, China) is an incomplete avian right hindlimb with plumage from the left wingtip preserved encased in amber, measuring 34.8 mm 3 34.4 mm 3 8.2 mm and weighing 5.51 g. The bird appears to have undergone significant decay prior to resin polymerization. In many places, the skin from the foot has sloughed off the bones and drifted short distances
through the amber.

Elektorornis, ‘‘Elektor,’’ the word for amber; ‘‘-ornis,’’ Greek, meaning bird. The species name ‘‘chenguangi’’ is in honor of Chen Guang, a curator at the Hupoge Amber Museum.

Locality and Horizon
Late Albian-Cenomanian 98.8 ± 0.6 Ma [11] Angbamo locality, Hukawng Valley, Kachin Province (Tanai Township, Myitkyina District), northern Myanmar.

Ontogenetic Assessment
The specimen is considered to be subadult to adult, based on the complete fusion of the proximal tarsals to the tibia and the distal tarsals to the metatarsals

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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 19:02   #3
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Elektor (Ηλέκτορ, ορος) doesn't really mean amber but the sun (poetic). They would have had to use the word Ηλετρον to say amber (like the momotid genus Electron)
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