Dalian Natural History Museum

Dalian, China

Dalian Natural History Museum

Dalian, China
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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.


Chinsamy A.,University of Cape Town | Chiappe L.M.,Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County | Marugan-Lobon J.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Chunling G.,Dalian Natural History Museum | Fengjiao Z.,Dalian Natural History Museum
Nature Communications | Year: 2013

Hundreds of specimens of the beaked bird Confuciusornis sanctus have been recovered from Early Cretaceous lake deposits of northeastern China. These birds show remarkable variation in size and plumage, with some displaying two long, central ornamental rectrices (tail feathers) and others lacking them altogether. Although, traditionally specimens with ornamental rectrices were interpreted as males and those without them as females, this supposed sexual dimorphism has remained unconfirmed. Here we report on the discovery of medullary bone, a tissue unique to reproductively active female birds, in a specimen of C. sanctus (DNHM-D1874) lacking these feathers. Our discovery constitutes the first case of gender identification in a Mesozoic bird, and it provides undisputed evidence that individuals of C. sanctus without ornamental rectrices are females. By permitting gender identification in C. sanctus, our results provide insight into the onset of sexual maturity and attainment of adult body size of this and other early birds. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Gao C.,Dalian Natural History Museum | Chiappe L.M.,Dinosaur Institute | Zhang F.,Dalian Natural History Museum | Pomeroy D.L.,Dinosaur Institute | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology | Year: 2012

We describe the anatomy and bone microstructure of a new subadult specimen of Sapeornis chaoyangensis from the Early Cretaceous of Liaoning Province, China. To date, this is the only known sapeornithid that preserves substantial portions of its plumage. Found in the Yixian Formation, it also represents the oldest known sapeornithid, and as such, extends the stratigraphic range of this lineage 3-5 million years. This specimen also increases our knowledge of sapeornithid skeletal and integumentary anatomy, including previously unrecognized details of the primary and secondary wing feathers. Examination of the characters used to diagnose other named sapeornithid species reveals that such diagnoses have incorporated morphologies that are influenced by either taphonomy or ontogeny. Based on qualitative and quantitative comparisons between the new specimen and other sapeornithid species, we argue that all other named sapeornithids are junior synonyms of S. chaoyangensis. © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Gao C.,Dalian Natural History Museum | Morschhauser E.M.,University of Pennsylvania | Varricchio D.J.,Montana State University | Liu J.,Dalian Natural History Museum | Zhao B.,Dalian Natural History Museum
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

A second nearly complete, articulated specimen of the basal troodontid Mei long (DNHM D2154) is reported from the Early Cretaceous (Hauterivian-Valanginian) lower Yixian Formation, Liaoning Province, China. New diagnostic features of Mei long are identified, including: a uniquely shaped maxilla, low with small, low maxillary fenestra; sacrum with an extremely wide caudal portion and elongate 4th and 5th sacral processes; and a large distal articular surface on the tibiotarsus which continues caudally on the tibia. A phylogenetic analysis including new data from the second specimen recovered Mei as a basal troodontid, in keeping with previous analyses. Although the skeleton exhibits several juvenile-like features including free cervical ribs, unfused frontals and nasals, and a short snouted skull, other attributes, full fusion of all neurocentral synostoses and the sacrum, and dense exteriors to cortical bone, suggest a small, mature individual. Microscopic examination of tibia and fibula histology confirms maturity and suggests an individual greater than two years old with slowed growth. Despite being one of the smallest dinosaurs, Mei long exhibits multi-year growth and cortical bone consisting largely of fibro-lamellar tissue marked by lines of arrested growth as in much larger and more basal theropods. This Mei long specimen lies in a similar but mirrored sleeping position to that of the holotype, strengthening the hypothesis that both specimens were preserved in a stereotypical life position. Like many Liaoning specimens, the new specimen also lacks extensive taphonomic and stratigraphic data, making further behavioral inference problematic. © 2012 Gao et al.


O'Connor J.K.,CAS Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology | O'Connor J.K.,Dinosaur Institute | Chiappe L.M.,Dinosaur Institute | Gao C.,Dalian Natural History Museum | Zhao B.,Dalian Natural History Museum
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica | Year: 2011

The exquisitely preserved longipterygid enantiornithine Rapaxavis pani is redescribed here after more extensive preparation. A complete review of its morphology is presented based on information gathered before and after preparation. Among other features, Rapaxavis pani is characterized by having an elongate rostrum (close to 60% of the skull length), rostrally restricted dentition, and schizorhinal external nares. Yet, the most puzzling feature of this bird is the presence of a pair of pectoral bones (here termed paracoracoidal ossifications) that, with the exception of the enantiornithine Concornis lacustris, are unknown within Aves. Particularly notable is the presence of a distal tarsal cap, formed by the fusion of distal tarsal elements, a feature that is controversial in non-ornithuromorph birds. The holotype and only known specimen of Rapaxavis pani thus reveals important information for better understanding the anatomy and phylogenetic relationships of longipterygids, in particular, as well as basal birds as a whole.


PubMed | Michigan State University, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, University of Manchester and Dalian Natural History Museum
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007) | Year: 2016

We describe a Psittacosaurus specimen from the Lujiatun beds of the Yixian Formation in Liaoning, China with an abnormality on its left fibula. Although a large number of Psittacosaurus specimens are known, only a single example of a pathologic Psittacosaurus has been previously noted. The specific pathology in the current specimen is believed to be a healed fibular fracture as assessed through a combination of gross morphology, microcomputed tomography (microCT), and histology data. The fracture can be identified using microCT, but the degree of remodeling and the stage of fracture repair are best determined histologically. The fracture callus is made up of radially oriented spokes of woven bone in a cartilage matrix and the original cortical bone prior to the fracture has been largely eroded. A transverse histologic section taken at the level of the fracture shows the displacement of the proximal and distal parts of the fibula. The Psittacosaurus appears to have survived the break considering the deposition of circumferential non-pathologic bone at the periosteal surface outside of the callus. The combination of gross morphological description, microCT data, and histologic data allowed for a full diagnosis of the abnormality. While some previous authors have preferred gross morphological description above other methods for assessing paleopathologies, it is evident based on this specimen that an amalgam of techniques provides greater clarity to paleopathology diagnoses. Although this Psittacosaurus lived in an environment with many predators, it was able to survive with a fracture on its hindlimb, which undoubtedly would have impacted its locomotion. Anat Rec, 299:897-906, 2016. 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Wang X.,Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences | Shen C.,Dalian Natural History Museum | Gao C.,Dalian Natural History Museum | Jin K.,Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences
Acta Geologica Sinica | Year: 2014

Based on a new nearly naturally preserved skull and four cervical vertebrae of the pterosaur Feilongus sp. from the lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Beipiao, western Liaoning province, northeastern China, the diagnosis of Feilongus is amended. The revised diagnosis notes long, curved, needle-shaped teeth that are confined to the jaw far anterior to the nasoantorbital fenestra; posterior teeth that are slightly smaller than the anterior teeth; cervical vertebrae elongated with a ratio of length to width greater than 5; tooth number of about 78; and two cranial sagittal crests. © 2014 Geological Society of China.

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