Schlagwort-Archive: Late 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 

SDSM 64281

SDSM 64281, also known as „Ornithurine C“ is mentioned in a study from 2011 that deals with the extinction of several bird clades at the end of the Cretaceous. [1]

This form is apparently known from at least one fragmented coracoid and comes from a bird that in life must have had a weight of about 3 kg. Unfortunatley the study fails to inform if this form is known from only the aforementioned single coracoid, and if not, if its remains were recovered only from the earliest Paleocene layers or if they were also recovered from the lates Cretaceous layers as it is the case with all other bird remains in the study.:

One of these species, Ornithurine C, is [also or only?] known from the Paleocene and therefore represents the only Maastrichtian bird known to cross the K–Pg boundary.“ 

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Apparently, this species is known from at least four coracoids or remains of such, and they are named as  „SDSM 64281A“, „SDSM 64281B“, „UCMP 175251“, and  „MOR 2918“ and most are indeed of Late Cretaceous age, but just not all of them.

According to the authors this species might be identical with a species that was named as Graculavus augustus Hope, a bird that apparently belongs to the Charadriiformes but was very much unlike any of the charadriiform birds living today, in life it may have appeared like some kind of giant stone-curlew aka. thick-knee. [2]

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References:

[1] Nicholas R. Longrich; Tim Tokaryk; Daniel J. Field: Mass extinction of birds at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary. PNAS 108 (37) 15253-15257. 2011 
[2] Nicholas R. Longrich; Tim Tokaryk; Daniel J. Field: Mass extinction of birds at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary. PNAS 108 (37) 15253-15257. 2011. Supplementary Information

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edited: 09.12.2019

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

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