• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

The avian brain shape left other dinosaurs behind (1 Viewer)

Fred Ruhe

Well-known member
Netherlands
Christopher R. Torres, Mark A. Norell and Julia A. Clarke, 2021

Bird neurocranial and body mass evolution across the end-Cretaceous mass extinction: The avian brain shape left other dinosaurs behind

Science Advances. 7 (31): eabg7099.
doi:10.1126/sciadv.abg7099

Abstract and free pdf: Bird neurocranial and body mass evolution across the end-Cretaceous mass extinction: The avian brain shape left other dinosaurs behind | Science Advances

Birds today are the most diverse clade of terrestrial vertebrates, and understanding why extant birds (Aves) alone among dinosaurs survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction is crucial to reconstructing the history of life. Hypotheses proposed to explain this pattern demand identification of traits unique to Aves. However, this identification is complicated by a lack of data from non-avian birds. Here, we interrogate survivorship hypotheses using data from a new, nearly complete skull of Late Cretaceous (~70 million years) bird Ichthyornis and reassess shifts in bird body size across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Ichthyornis exhibited a wulst and segmented palate, previously proposed to have arisen within extant birds. The origin of Aves is marked by larger, reshaped brains indicating selection for relatively large telencephala and eyes but not by uniquely small body size. Sensory system differences, potentially linked to these shifts, may help explain avian survivorship relative to other dinosaurs.

Enjoy,

Fred
 

Fred Ruhe

Well-known member
Netherlands
Fig. 1. Photographs and digital renderings of new Ichthyornis (AMNH FARB 32773) craniofacial anatomy showing evidence of a segmented palate. (A) Photograph of skull block including the neurocranium and partial upper and lower jaws. (B) Rendering of the skull block showing the position of the endocast (pink) relative to the cranium and nearby preserved facial elements (translucent white). (C) Photograph of the block including the premaxilla, left maxilla, and left palatine. Digital reconstructions of the facial skeleton in (D) lateral, (E) dorsal (mandible removed), and (F) ventral (mandible removed) views. Preserved elements are colored; symmetrical elements mirrored from the opposite side are in gray. Numbers correspond to novel insights from this specimen: 1, complete orbital process of the quadrate; 2, complete nasomaxillary contact; 3, segmented hemipterygoid. den, dentary; fr, frontals; hpt, hemipterygoid; ju, jugal; la, lacrimal; max, maxilla; mes, mesethmoid; na, nasal; nc, neurocranium; pa, palatine; pd, predentary; pman, posterior mandible; pre, premaxilla; qj, quadratojugal; qu, quadrate; vo?, tentative vomer. Photo credit: Christopher R. Torres, University of Texas at Austin.

Fig. 2. The impact of including stem data on estimating body size evolution in birds. (A) Body mass evolution across the avian stem. Ancestral body masses were estimated including 26 stem birds with well-supported phylogenetic affinities and mapped across the strict consensus tree from our primary phylogenetic analysis. Gray branches indicate taxa that were used to estimate phylogeny but not ancestral body mass reconstructions. Circles correspond to ancestral body masses estimated for major basal divergences within Aves including data from the total stem bird sample (pink), only stem birds with well-supported phylogenetic affinities (dark gray), and no stem birds except Archaeopteryx (light gray) and are to scale. (B) Comparison of body mass estimates of 1Cretaceous birds known from within 300 ka (thousand years) of the K-Pg boundary (19) to our body mass estimates for divergences within the crown clade and taxa from the Late Cretaceous and Early Paleogene, as well as 2model-based ancestral body masses for Aves, Neognathae, and Neoaves estimated previously (11) without inclusion of outgroup taxa. Cretaceous crown birds: 1, Conflicto antarcticus; 2, Asteriornis maastrichtensis; 3, Polarornis gregorii; 4, Vegavis iaai.

Fred
 

Attachments

  • Ichthyornis-1.jpg
    Ichthyornis-1.jpg
    321.8 KB · Views: 1
  • Ichthyornis-2.jpg
    Ichthyornis-2.jpg
    390.1 KB · Views: 1
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

Users who are viewing this thread

Top