We describe a new species of Early Cretaceous bird from the Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province. Xinghaiornis lini gen. et sp. nov. is relatively large and characterized by a long, toothless rostrum and an elevated pedal digit I. The design of the skull and feet suggests that this bird was likely a mud-prober. This discovery provides strong support indicating that this avian trophic specialization originated at least 125 million years ago.
Keywords: Early Cretaceous, Xinghaiornis lini, Yixian Formation, avian trophic specialization
Xuri Wang, Luis M. Chiappe, Fangfang Teng and Qiang Ji. 2013. Xinghaiornis lini (Aves: Ornithothoraces) from the Early Cretaceous of Liaoning: An Example of Evolutionary Mosaic in Early Birds. Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition). 87(3): 686–689.