Friday, January 27, 2012

[Paleontology • 2002] Shenzhouraptor sinensis • An Early Cretaceous avialan bird from Western Liaoning, China

Shenzhouraptor sinensis fossil displayed in Hong Kong Science Museum

The text describes a new specimen of the Avialae from the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Fm. of Liaoning Province, China.  The specimen is edentulous, its forelimb is distinctly longer than its hind limb, the tail is composed of over 20 caudals, the furcula is U-shaped, and flight feathers exceed torso length.  These characters express a genuine ability for flight, such that the new specimen represents a transitional phase between the Dinosauria and Aves and is formally erected as Shenzhouraptor sinensis gen. et sp. nov.

Ji; Ji, Ji; You, Zhang; Zhang, Zhang; Yuan 2003. An Early Cretaceous avialan bird, Shenzhouraptor sinensis from Western Liaoning, China. Acta Geologica Sinica 77 (1): 21–27.