Get access

A new, three-dimensionally preserved enantiornithine bird (Aves: Ornithothoraces) from Gansu Province, north-western China

Authors

  • SHU-AN JI,

    1. Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, 26 Baiwanzhuang Road, Beijing 100037, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • JESSIE ATTERHOLT,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, 240 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
      Current address: Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, 1101 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. E-mail: ajes@berkeley.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
  • JINGMAI K. O'CONNOR,

    1. The Dinosaur Institute, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90007, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • MATTHEW C. LAMANNA,

    1. Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • JERALD D. HARRIS,

    1. Department of Physical Sciences, Dixie State College, 225 South 700 East, St. George, Utah 84770, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • DA-QING LI,

    1. Gansu Geological Museum, 6 Tuanjie Road, Chengguan District, Lanzhou, Gansu Province, 730010, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • HAI-LU YOU,

    1. Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, 26 Baiwanzhuang Road, Beijing 100037, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • PETER DODSON

    1. Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, 240 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Current address: Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, 1101 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. E-mail: ajes@berkeley.edu

Abstract

In recent years, the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) Xiagou Formation has yielded approximately 100 avian partial skeletons, many with soft-tissue traces, from sites in the Changma Basin of Gansu Province, north-western China. The most abundant taxon amongst these is the ornithuromorph Gansus yumenensis, but enantiornithines have also been identified in the sample. Here we describe two incomplete, semi-articulated appendicular skeletons, the first consisting of a partial left pelvic girdle and complete pelvic limb, and the second comprised of a nearly complete right pelvic limb. Both specimens bear characteristics diagnostic of Enantiornithes, and are referred to a new taxon, Qiliania graffinigen. et sp. nov. The exceptional, three-dimensional preservation of these specimens (compared to the crushed, nearly two-dimensional condition of most other Early Cretaceous avian fossils) reveals new information regarding enantiornithine anatomy, evolution, and diversity.

© 2011 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2011, 162, 201–219.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary