The Chinese Jehol Biota sediments have produced another discovery; Pin tailed birds in the cretaceous.
Don't you just hate it when you find every piece but one of something?
Paleontologists in China have identified a new species of pengornithid enantiornithine bird with a pair of elaborate tail feathers.
"The extravagant but aerodynamically costly long central plumes, as an honest signal of quality, likely evolved in enantiornithines through the handicap process of sexual selection." [ie that means if you can live handicapped like that, you must be extra vigorous with good genes to not have been eaten or starve already. Ahhh biology.]
Enantiornithes are the most successful group of Mesozoic birds, arguably representing the first global avian radiation. They are known exclusively from the Cretaceous period, predominantly from fossils discovered in Asia, and commonly resolved as the sister to Ornithuromorpha, the group within which all living birds are nested. The new species is a member of the family Pengornithidae, one of the earliest diverging enantiornithine groups.
Named Yuanchuavis kompsosoura, it lived approximately 120 million years ago in what is now northeastern China and belonged to the famous Jehol Biota. It was a small bird, about the size of a bluejay, but its tail was more than 150% the length of its body. “Yuanchuavis kompsosoura had a fan of short feathers at the base and then two extremely long plumes,” said Dr. Jingmai O’Connor, a paleontologist at the Field Museum.
No wonder there have been so many different species of birds if they started "declaring" species just by talking the talk.
http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology/yu ... ce+News%29
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