Schlagwort-Archive: Cretaceous

„Debunking“ DP’s Asteriornis post from March 19, 2020

Asteriornis maastrichtensis Field, Benito, Chen, Jagt & Ksepka, described in 2020, is the oldest known member of the clade Pangalloanserae, that is a clade that contains the Anseriformes (ducks, geese etc.) as well as the Galliformes (chickens and allies) as well as some now completely extinct forms. [1]

In the disturbing world of DP however, this species is a part of a funny radiation that contains the Horned Screamer, one sandgrouse genus, two rail genera, an extinct passeriform genus, one genus of Palaeognathae, and last but not least, Helornis, a synonym of the extinct flamingo genus Elornis (however, this is just a spelling error and actually meant to be the Sungrebe (Heliornis fulica). 

I can break DP’s whole ‚article‘ down to one single sentence: 

Oddly, the tip of the premaxilla is slightly hooked on one side, not hooked on the other (Fig.1).

This citation says so much more about DP than anything anyone could write about him. Fossils can be slightly deformed or even be completely squished; DP, however, apparently sees this as their original state, so of course this bird must have had a beak with a tip slightly hooked only on one side … makes totally sense.

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In the comment section there is also a comment clearly coming from a spam bot – of course DP is commenting also on this comment, just as he always does ….

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References:

[1] Daniel J. Field; Juan Benito; Albert Chen; John W. M. Jagt; Daniel T. Ksepka: Late Cretaceous neornithine from Europe illuminates the origins of crown birds. Nature 579: 397–401. 2020

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edited: 04.01.2021 

Elal’s Mountain Swan – Kookne yeutensis

This new bird has recently been reported from Argentinia, and its name apparently is taken from the Aonikenk language, which is or was spoken by the Mapuche of southern Argentinia and its translation is given in the title.

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The new genus and species is known so far from a single bone, an incomplete right coracoid, whose „combination of characters strongly suggests anseriform affinities“. [1]

That means that this species obvioulsy was an anseriform, some duck- or goose-like bird, more or less similar to other Late Cretaceous or Early Paleocene species.

Let’s see if there will be more remains to be discovered in the future.

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References:

[1] Fernando. E. Novas; Federico. L. Agnolin; Sebastián Rozadilla; Alexis M. Aranciaga-Rolando; Federico Brisson-Egli; Matias J. Motta; Mauricio Cerroni; Martín D. Ezcurra; Agustín G. Martinelli; Julia S. d ́Angelo; Gerardo Alvarez-Herrera; Adriel R. Gentil; Sergio Bogan; Nicolás R. Chimento; Jordi A. García-Marasà; Gastón Lo Coco; Sergio E. Miquel; Fátima F. Brito; Ezequiel I. Vera; Valeria S. Perez Loinaze; Mariela S. Fernández & Leonardo Salgado: Paleontological discoveries in the Chorrillo Formation (upper Campanian-lower Maastrichtian, Upper Cretaceous), Santa Cruz Province, Patagonia, Argentina. Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, n. s. 21(2): 217-293. 2019

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edited: 07.12.2019

A very snappy bird with strange trousers – Cruralispennia multidonta Wang et al.

This tiny thing could be called the „Cretaceous Nicobar Pigeon“, it had somewhat elongated neck feathers, the typical short tail, or rather a not-a-tail-at-all tail so typical for many of those strange Cretaceous enantiornithine birds that we now already know.

The strange-feathered creature comes from China, where it lived some 130 Million years ago in the late Early Cretaceous.

The genus name refers to its crural feathers (bird trousers) which are actually found in many birds, but here they are shaped like nothing ever seen before, maybe like a thin sheet of ceratin with a chewed end, or brush-like end, not at all like a feather. The species name again refers to its multi-toothed beak.

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a sketch of which I hope that I can produce a painting from some day ….

The bird reached a size of about 10 to maybe 11 or 12 cm when fully grown. The body feathers appear to have been more hair- than feather-like, and they may have been dark, while those on its neck were somewhat elongated and apparently were even glossy [1] … why not. 

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Unfortunatly I could not find any plant species from the same place and time.

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References:

[1] Min Wang; Jingmai K. O’Connor; Yanhong Pan; Zhonghe Zhou: A bizarre Early Cretaceous enantiornithine bird with unique crural feathers and an ornithuromorph plough-shaped pygostyle. Nature Communications 8: 1-12. 2017

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edited: 19.11.2019

Strange feet from the Cretaceous – Part 3

Enantiophoenix electrophyla Cau & Arduini from the Late Cretaceous of Lebanon, roughly the size of a recent European Starling.

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somewhat more than just a sketch, this piece took me some hours

This species is known from parts of a foot and some very few further remains.

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References:

[1] Andrea Cau & Paolo Arduini: Enantiophoenix electrophyla gen. et sp. nov. (Aves, Enantiornithes) from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) of Lebanon and its phylogenetic relationships. ATTI della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano 149(2): 293-324. 2008

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edited: 14.07.2019

Strange feet from the Cretaceous – Part 1

Elektorornis chenguangi Xing, O’Connor, Chiappe, McKellar, Carroll, Hu, Bai & Lei, a bird from the Cretaceous era described just now.

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just a quick life-sized (!) sketch, gummy bear for size comparison

This bird is known only by a single leg with an unusually elongated middle toe and parts of the wing.

I will come back to that bird somewhat later ….

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References:

[1] 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. 2019

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edited: 12.07.2019

… small sketch

Cratoavis cearensis, an enantiornithiform bird from the lower Cretaceous of the extremely interesting Crato Formation in Brazil.

This bird is known from a single specimen that apparently was not fully grown, it was altogether only about 12 cm long (including the tail streamers)!

Yet, I have no idea how large it may have got when fully adult, who knows.

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The Crato Formation is otherwise known for its numerous plant fossils, many of them angiosperms, so I cannot really decide yet which plant species may fit with this bird, but time will show ….

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edited: 02.04.2019

And yet another sketch …

… this time of Eoalulavis hoyasi Sanz, Chiappe, Perez-Moreno, Buscalioni, Moratalla, Ortega & Poyato-Ariza.

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This probably somewhat semiaquatic bird was described in 1996 from Las Hoyas near the city of Cuenca, Spain.  

The decomposing plant in the background is a cycad, Almargemia dentata (Heer) Florin, from roughly about the same place and time.

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edited: 13.07.2017