New Species of Enantiornithes (Aves: Ornithothoraces) from the Qiaotou Formation in Northern Hebei, China


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We report on a new species of enantiornithine bird from the Lower Cretaceous Qiaotou Formation of northern Hebei, China. The new taxon, Shenqiornis mengi gen. et sp. nov., possesses several enantiornithine synapomorphies but is unique from other known species. The specimen has a well-preserved skull that reveals new information about enantiornithine cranial morphology. The new taxon possesses a large postorbital with a long tapering jugal process indicating that some enantiornithines may have had a fully diapsid skull, as in Confuciusornis. The tooth morphology of the specimen is unique and likely represents a previously unknown trophic specialization within Enantiornithes.