By Gerald Mayr
Wisdom of the evolutionary heritage of birds has a lot stronger in fresh a long time. Fossils from serious time sessions are being defined at extraordinary charges and sleek phylogenetic analyses have supplied a framework for the interrelationships of the extant teams. This e-book supplies an outline of the avian fossil list and its paleobiological value, and it's the basically up to date textbook that covers either Mesozoic and extra modern-type Cenozoic birds in a few element. The reader is brought to key positive factors of basal avians and the morphological modifications that experience happened within the evolution in the direction of glossy birds. An account of the Cenozoic fossil list sheds mild at the biogeographic background of the extant avian teams and discusses fossils within the context of present phylogenetic hypotheses. This evaluate of the evolutionary heritage of birds not just addresses scholars and proven researchers, however it can also be an invaluable resource of data for somebody else with an curiosity within the evolution of birds and a average history in biology and geology.
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Additional resources for Avian Evolution: The Fossil Record of Birds and its Paleobiological Significance
Analyses of morphological traits associated with a strictly arboreal way of life do not support such habits of Archaeopteryx and the paravian ancestor of birds, but indicate that arboreal adaptations evolved within the avian lineage (Dececchi and Larsson 2011). The explanatory power of such analyses is, however, challenged by the circumstance that they can make inferences on the habits of extinct taxa only by comparison with extant animals that live in very different ecosystems. Some maniraptorans near the base of Aves, such as the Scansoriopterygidae, furthermore exhibit morphological adaptations unknown among living taxa, which defy a straightforward functional interpretation.
T H E C L O S E S T M A N I R A P T O R A N R E L AT I V E S O F B I R D S 25 deserve further study. The forelimbs of Scansoriopteryx and Yi are very long and their length exceeds that of the hindlimbs (unfortunately, the forelimbs of Epidexipteryx remain poorly known). A peculiar characteristic of scansoriopterygids – that is, of Scansoriopteryx and Yi at least – is a greatly elongated minor digit, which exceeds the major digit in length, therefore belying digital terminology in the case of these animals.
Unlike in non-avian theropods and Archaeopteryx but as in more derived avians, the palate of oviraptorosaurs furthermore features a triradiate palatine, whereas this bone is tetraradiate in most non-avian theropods. Most current analyses found oviraptorosaurs to be outside Paraves, and presumptive paravian apomorphies, which are absent in oviraptorosaurs, include forelimb features functionally correlated with the origin of flight (Turner et al. 2012). Other presumably primitive attributes of oviraptorosaurs include the lack of a retroverted pubis (Makovicky and Zanno 2011), although the pubis of at least Archaeopteryx was probably not significantly more reversed than that of oviraptorosaurs (Wellnhofer 2009).
Avian Evolution: The Fossil Record of Birds and its Paleobiological Significance by Gerald Mayr