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Lockley M.G.,University of Colorado at Denver | Li J.,Beijing Natural History Museum | Matsukawa M.,Tokyo Gakugei University | Li R.,CAS Qingdao Institute of Oceanology
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2012

The new bird track Tatarornipes chabuensis ichnogen et. ichnosp nov. is described from the Lower Cretaceous Jingchuan Formation of Inner Mongolia. This ichnospecies is abundant in the well-studied Chabu area of central Inner Mongolia (Nei Mongol). In addition to the type locality (Chabu site 4), large samples are known from Chabu sites 1, 5 and 15, and the ichnogenus also occurs in the Cretaceous of Shandong Province. More than 50 well-preserved, measured tracks and representative trackways from five samples are illustrated to show diagnostic features and modifications attributable to preservation. The ichnospecies, which is characterized by robust digits that are unusually wide proximally, is easily distinguished from smaller Cretaceous avian ichnotaxa such as Koreanaornis and Aquatilavipes, which are smaller and more gracile in appearance. Tatarornipes also reveals a distinctive trackway pattern often characterized by long steps and minimal pes rotation. This ichnogenus is typically found in fluvio-lacustrine settings in association with saurischian (theropod and sauropod) dominated footprint assemblages. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Xing L.,China University of Geosciences | Peng G.,Zigong Dinosaur Museum | Marty D.,Office de la Culture Paleontologie A16 | Ye Y.,Zigong Dinosaur Museum | And 5 more authors.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica | Year: 2014

The Longguan dinosaur tracksite in the Sichuan Basin (China) is described. It is located in the uppermost part of the Upper Triassic Xujiahe Formation and displays a single, unusual trackway consisting of 19 deeply impressed pes imprints. All tracks have suffered from erosion over many years of exposure, but they still reveal interesting details such as conspicuous elongated grooves, interpreted here as toe and claw drag marks. The trackmaker, a medium-sized archosaur, was walking in a thick and relatively soft layer of sand. The elongated, oval shape of the footprints resembles the ichnogenus Eosauropus from North America and Europe, assigned to facultative bipedal sauropodomorphs. The Chinese track differs by inward rotation of the footprints toward the midline, whereas in Eosauropus, these are turned strictly outward. Other ichnotaxa and possible trackmakers are discussed, but presently, a distinct assignment cannot be given. The Longguan trackway enlarges the scarce footprint record from the Triassic of China. © 2014 L. Xing et al.


Zhang Y.,Beijing Natural History Museum | O'Connor J.,Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthroplogy | Di L.,Beijing Natural History Museum | Qingjin M.,Beijing Natural History Museum | And 2 more authors.
PeerJ | Year: 2014

Enantiornithines are the most diverse avian clade in the Cretaceous. However, morphological specializations indicative of specific ecological roles are not well known for this clade. Here we report on an exquisitely well-preserved specimen from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of northeastern China, which pedal morphology is suggestive of a unique ecological specialization within Enantiornithes. The morphology of the new specimen is largely indistinguishable fromthat of the holotype of the bohaiornithid enantiornithine Zhouornis hani, albeit the latter is somewhat larger. The new specimen provides important and previously unknown details of the skull of Zhouornis hani, which add to the limited knowledge about the cranial anatomy and evolution of enantiornithines. The information offered by the new specimen also augments our understanding of the postcranial morphology of bohaiornithid enantiornithines, a clade that has been only recently recognized. With the description of this specimen, Zhouornis hani becomes one of the most anatomically complete known enantiornithine species, which will facilitate future morphological studies. © 2014 Zhang et al.


Chiappe L.M.,Dinosaur Institute | Bo Z.,Dalian Natural History Museum | O'Connor J.K.,Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthroplogy | Chunling G.,Dalian Natural History Museum | And 6 more authors.
PeerJ | Year: 2014

The discovery of Hongshanornis longicresta, a small ornithuromorph bird with unusually long hindlimb proportions, was followed by the discovery of two closely related species, Longicrusavis houi and Parahongshanornis chaoyangensis. Together forming the Hongshanornithidae, these species reveal important information about the early diversity and morphological specialization of ornithuromorphs, the clade that contains all living birds. Here we report on a new specimen (DNHM D2945/6) referable toHongshanornis longicresta that contributes significant information to better understand the morphology, trophic ecology, and aerodynamics of this species, as well as the taxonomy of the Hongshanornithidae. Most notable are the wellpreserved wings and feathered tail of DNHM D2945/6, which afford an accurate reconstruction of aerodynamic parameters indicating that as early as 125 million years ago, basal ornithuromorphs had evolved aerodynamic surfaces comparable in size and design to those of many modern birds, and flight modes alike to those of some small living birds. © 2014 Chiappe et al.


Xing L.,China University of Geosciences | Buckley L.G.,Peace Region Palaeontology Research Center | Lockley M.G.,University of Colorado at Denver | Zhang J.,China University of Geosciences | And 5 more authors.
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2016

There are a growing number of Early Cretaceous avian tracks and trackways from around the world, with Asia (China and Korea) having the largest reported number and diversity of Mesozoic avian traces to date, and these new discoveries are increasing the Early Cretaceous avian ichnodivesrity of Laurasia. Here we report on a new Lower Cretaceous avian track locality in the Guanshan area, Yongjing County, Gansu Province, northwest China, and on a novel ichnospecies of Koreanaornis, Koreanaornis lii ichnosp. nov. Koreananornis lii is distinct from other Koreanaornipodidae in that it possesses a consistently wider digit divarication than previously described tridactyl tracks, and possess a short, small, posteromedially oriented hallux that displays a different orientation than that seen in Koreanaornis hamanensis. The lack of linear and angular data reported for digit I traces of many avian ichnotaxa has the potential to give misleading results in multivariate statistical analyses. Also, the wide divarication of Koreanaornis lii causes the ichnotaxon to not group with other Koreanornipodidae in multivariate analyses, but with Ignotornidae. Despite the results of the analyses, K. lii is morphologically distinct from these ichnotaxa. The results demonstrate that relying solely on multivariate statistical analyses without careful examination of footprint morphology will result in erroneous ichnospecies groupings. While new vertebrate ichnotaxa discoveries from Asia may support the hypotheses of the presence of a unique and endemic Asian vertebrate ichnofauna during the Cretaceous, the recent discovery of skeletal remains interpreted to be of a volant wading bird from the Early Cretaceous, and recent reports of tracks from volant avians, could suggest that flighted avians of the shore- and wading bird ecotypes could have had a Laurasian-wide distribution during the Early Cretaceous. However, strong convergence in foot morphology of shore- and wading birds suggests that avian ichnotaxa found in both present-day Asia and North America may have been made by birds endemic to eastern and western Laurasia during the Early Cretaceous. © 2016.


Liu G.,Beijing Forestry University | Zang S.,Beijing Forestry University | Li L.,Beijing Natural History Museum | Hu X.,Beijing Forestry University | And 3 more authors.
Conservation Genetics Resources | Year: 2014

The study compares the effects of three preservation methods (ethanol, drying and freezing) and two extraction methods (commercial kit and manual) on the PCR success rate and genotyping errors with fecal DNA from Przewalski's horse (Equus przewalskii). The interaction term between preservation and extraction was significant, and the highest amplification success rate (0.661) was obtained with samples stored in ethanol and extracted manually. The preservation method and time significantly impacted microsatellite amplification success rates. The method of preservation had an effect on the rate of allelic dropout (ADO), but the rate of false alleles (FA) varied nonsignificantly. Feces preserved in ethanol yielded the lowest ADO and FA, followed by drying and freezing. Our optimized preservation protocol probably have wide applicability to equids and rhinocerotids that produce large, high-fiber fecal pellets. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Wang W.,Beijing Forestry University | He L.,Beijing Forestry University | He L.,Xinjiang Normal University | Li L.,Beijing Natural History Museum | And 5 more authors.
Folia Zoologica | Year: 2015

We studied feeding intake and food selection of nine captive forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii) offered 17 species of plants in China. We also determined nutrient characteristics related to plant quality to assess their effect on food selection. Results indicated that forest musk deer exhibited positive selectivity for four species of plants (M. azedarach, M. baccata, K. japonica and C. orbiculatus) and negative selectivity for the remainder. Two plant species with the highest selectivity values accounted for 47.39 % of total food intake; thus, forest musk deer exhibited the strongest preference for these species. Food intake was positively correlated with feeding frequency and duration (r = 0.764, p < 0.005; r = 0.843, p < 0.005) but was not correlated with sniffing frequency or duration. However, olfaction did play an important role in food recognition by the deer. Pearson correlation analysis (data were log10 transformed) indicated that leaf intake was positively correlated with crude protein content (r = 0.708, p = 0.001) and negatively correlated with crude fiber content (r = -0.811, p < 0.001) and ash content (r = -0.496, p = 0.043). In addition, forest musk deer preferred tannin-rich plants with high protein and low fiber. Food intake was also positively correlated with potassium content (r = 0.672, p < 0.005). Our results suggest that forest musk deer is able to positively select high quality food (high protein content) and avoid low quality food (high fiber content). However, the fact that musk deer also prefer tannin-rich food requires further research to gain deeper insight into the underlying mechanisms in the food selection of forest musk deer. © 2015, Czech Academy of Sciences All Rights Reserved.


Bi S.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Bi S.,Indiana University of Pennsylvania | Wang Y.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Guan J.,Beijing Natural History Museum | And 2 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2014

The phylogeny of Allotheria, including Multituberculata and Haramiyida, remains unsolved and has generated contentious views on the origin and earliest evolution of mammals. Here we report three new species of a new clade, Euharamiyida, based on six well-preserved fossils from the Jurassic period of China. These fossils reveal many craniodental and postcranial features of euharamiyidans and clarify several ambiguous structures that are currently the topic of debate. Our phylogenetic analyses recognize Euharamiyida as the sister group of Multituberculata, and place Allotheria within the Mammalia. The phylogeny suggests that allotherian mammals evolved from a Late Triassic (approximately 208 million years ago) Haramiyavia-like ancestor and diversified into euharamiyidans and multituberculates with a cosmopolitan distribution, implying homologous acquisition of many craniodental and postcranial features in the two groups. Our findings also favour a Late Triassic origin of mammals in Laurasia and two independent detachment events of the middle ear bones during mammalian evolution. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Wang S.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Wang S.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Deng T.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | Tang T.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology | Year: 2014

Interspecific competition and species replacement explain many evolutionary successions, but these processes are difficult to test. According to recent paleontological research, amebelodontines were predominant proboscideans in faunas of the early to middle Miocene of East Asia. In addition to the abundant Platybelodon, other amebelodontines are known, but they have been largely neglected by researchers. Here we describe two species of Protanancus, Pr. tobieni and Pr. brevirostris, sp. nov., from China. The former was present during the middle Miocene in Tongxin and Qin'an and was previously attributed to Amebelodon or Serbelodon; the latter was present during the early Miocene in the Linxia Basin. Cladistic analysis indicates that the two species appear to represent primitive members of Protanancus. However, the phylogenetic relationship among Protanancus, Platybelodon, and Amebelodon remains unresolved because of their strong parallel evolution. Our study suggests intensive competition between Protanancus and Platybelodon based on similarities in their mandibular morphologies and dental microwear patterns, with the former genus disappearing from East Asia by the late middle Miocene. This scenario is supported by a mechanical model, in which lower tusks with dentinal tubules, as occur in Platybelodon, show greater resistance to the adverse effects of both a heavy load and abrasion than those with concentric laminae, present in Protanancus. The model aids in interpreting the evolution of the inner structure of the lower tusks of amebelodontines, which may have provided a competitive advantages for these species. © by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.


PubMed | Beijing Natural History Museum, Dinosaur Institute and Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthroplogy
Type: | Journal: PeerJ | Year: 2014

Enantiornithines are the most diverse avian clade in the Cretaceous. However, morphological specializations indicative of specific ecological roles are not well known for this clade. Here we report on an exquisitely well-preserved specimen from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of northeastern China, which pedal morphology is suggestive of a unique ecological specialization within Enantiornithes. The morphology of the new specimen is largely indistinguishable from that of the holotype of the bohaiornithid enantiornithine Zhouornis hani, albeit the latter is somewhat larger. The new specimen provides important and previously unknown details of the skull of Zhouornis hani, which add to the limited knowledge about the cranial anatomy and evolution of enantiornithines. The information offered by the new specimen also augments our understanding of the postcranial morphology of bohaiornithid enantiornithines, a clade that has been only recently recognized. With the description of this specimen, Zhouornis hani becomes one of the most anatomically complete known enantiornithine species, which will facilitate future morphological studies.

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