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A feathered enantiornithine foot (1 Viewer)

Fred Ruhe

Well-known member
Lida Xing, Ryan C. McKellar, Jingmai O'Connor, Ming Bai, Kuowei Tseng & Luis M. Chiappe, 2019

A fully feathered enantiornithine foot and wing fragment preserved in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber

Scientific Reports. 9 (1): Article number 927. Bibcode:2019NatSR...9..927X. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-37427-4. PMC 6353931. PMID 30700773

Abstract and free pdf : https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-37427-4.pdf

Over the last three years, Burmese amber (~99 Ma, from Myanmar) has provided a series of immature enantiornithine skeletal remains preserved in varying developmental stages and degrees of completeness. These specimens have improved our knowledge based on compression fossils in Cretaceous sedimentary rocks, adding details of three-dimensional structure and soft tissues that are rarely preserved elsewhere. Here we describe a remarkably well-preserved foot, accompanied by part of the wing plumage. These body parts were likely dismembered, entering the resin due to predatory or scavenging behaviour by a larger animal. The new specimen preserves contour feathers on the pedal phalanges together with enigmatic scutellae scale filament (SSF) feathers on the foot, providing direct analogies to the plumage patterns observed in modern birds, and those cultivated through developmental manipulation studies. Ultimately, this connection may allow researchers to observe how filamentous dinosaur ‘protofeathers’ developed—testing theories using evolutionary holdovers in modern birds.



Fred Ruhe

Well-known member
Overview and SR X-ray μCT renderings of dismembered foot, DIP-V-15105a. Foot soft tissue and plumage in (A) medial, (B) mediodorsal, and (C) dorsal views, with edge of contour feather coverage between arrows. Rendering of underlying bones in (D) medial, (E) mediodorsal, (F) lateral, and (G) plantar views. Arrows in D and F mark edge of keratin sheath, and one of its plantar ridges, respectively. Abbreviations: c.f., contour feather; r., reticulae; s., scute; s.s.f., scutellate scale filament; u.s., unfeathered scutellae. Scale
bars = 1.0 mm.



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