Xuri Wang et al,A new jeholornithiform exhibits the earliest appearance of the fused sternum and pelvis in the evolution of avialan dinosaurs

Published :Jul 29,2020

A new jeholornithiform – Kompsornis longicaudus gen. et sp. nov. – is reported based on a nearly complete specimen from the Jehol Biota in western Liaoning, China. Comprehensive comparisons and phylogenetic analysis, including all published species of Jeholornithiformes, are provided and indicate that Shenzhouraptor sinensisJeholornis primaJixiangornis orientalisJeholornis palmapenis and Jeholornis curvipes are all valid species of this clade, but that Dalianraptor cuhe is regarded as a nomen dubium. In particular, K. longicaudus possesses completely fused sternum and pelvis, a combination of advanced features that is for the first time recognized among jeholornithiforms and non-pygostylian avialans. The osteohistological investigation suggests that the skeletal reinforcement occurred during the juvenile ontogeny in some Jeholornithiformes. Therefore, the new discovery further enriches the diversity of Jeholornithiformes and suggests an unexpected developmental disparity in ossification patterns along the lineage from non-avian dinosaurs to birds.

Figure 1 Specimen of long-tailed elegant bird (A) and line drawing (B)

Figure 2 Long-tailed elegant bird sternum (A) and restoration picture (B)