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Preservation of ovarian follicles reveals early evolution of avian reproductive behaviour
TLDR
The first discovery of fossilized mature or nearly mature ovarian follicles are reported, revealing a previously undocumented stage in dinosaur reproduction: reproductively active females near ovulation.
On the absence of sternal elements in Anchiornis (Paraves) and Sapeornis (Aves) and the complex early evolution of the avian sternum
TLDR
It is proposed that the sternum may have been completely lost in Anchiornis and Sapeornis (and Archaeopteryx) based on histological analysis and the excellent preservation of soft-tissue structures, thus suggesting the absence of a sternum could represent the plesiomorphic avian condition.
Insights into the evolution of rachis dominated tail feathers from a new basal enantiornithine (Aves: Ornithothoraces)
TLDR
This paper aims to demonstrate the efforts towards in-situ applicability of EMMARM, as to provide real-time information about concrete mechanical properties such as E-modulus and compressive strength and high-resolution X-ray diffraction analysis.
A new ornithuromorph (Aves) with an elongate rostrum from the Jehol Biota, and the early evolution of rostralization in birds
TLDR
The 65% upper limit in rostral proportions of Early Cretaceous taxa with elongate maxillae and the fact that this morphology was abandoned in more derived taxa suggests that in Aves this skull configuration provided less structural stability.
A new species from an ornithuromorph (Aves: Ornithothoraces) dominated locality of the Jehol Biota
TLDR
Differences in faunal dominance may suggest the Sihedang records a unique ecological habitat and suggests that previous hypotheses regarding the shift in dominance between Enantiornithes and Ornithuromorpha need to be reassessed in terms of potential ecological biases due to limited sampling.
A bizarre Early Cretaceous enantiornithine bird with unique crural feathers and an ornithuromorph plough-shaped pygostyle
Enantiornithes are the most successful clade of Mesozoic birds. Here, we describe a new enantiornithine bird, Cruralispennia multidonta gen. et sp. nov., from the Protopteryx-horizon of the Early
Molecular evidence of keratin and melanosomes in feathers of the Early Cretaceous bird Eoconfuciusornis
TLDR
This work represents the oldest ultrastructural and immunological recognition of avian beta-keratin from an Early Cretaceous (∼130-Ma) bird and sheds new light on molecular preservation within normally labile tissues preserved in fossils.
A new Jurassic scansoriopterygid and the loss of membranous wings in theropod dinosaurs
TLDR
Support is provided for the widespread existence of membranous wings and the styliform element in the Scansoriopterygidae, as well as evidence for the diet of this enigmatic theropod clade.
Rates of morphological evolution are heterogeneous in Early Cretaceous birds
  • Min Wang, G. Lloyd
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological…
  • 13 April 2016
TLDR
Evidence for accelerated evolutionary rates is strongest at the point when Ornithuromorpha (the clade comprises all extant birds and descendants from their most recent common ancestors) split from Enantiornithes (a diverse clade that went extinct at the end-Cretaceous), consistent with the hypothesis that this key split opened up new niches and ultimately led to greater diversity for these two dominant clades of Mesozoic birds.
A new basal bird from China with implications for morphological diversity in early birds
TLDR
Phylogenetic analyses indicate that Chongmingia zhengi is basal to the dominant Mesozoic avian clades Enantiornithes and Ornithuromorpha, and represents a new basal avialan lineage.
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