Late Cretaceous neornithine from Europe illuminates the origins of crown birds

  title={Late Cretaceous neornithine from Europe illuminates the origins of crown birds},
  author={Daniel J. Field and Juan Benito and Albert Chen and John W. M. Jagt and Daniel T. Ksepka},
Our understanding of the earliest stages of crown bird evolution is hindered by an exceedingly sparse avian fossil record from the Mesozoic era. The most ancient phylogenetic divergences among crown birds are known to have occurred in the Cretaceous period 1 – 3 , but stem-lineage representatives of the deepest subclades of crown birds—Palaeognathae (ostriches and kin), Galloanserae (landfowl and waterfowl) and Neoaves (all other extant birds)—are unknown from the Mesozoic era. As a result, key… 
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