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hey everyone - hope you're all well Thought this was worth sharing - a description of a well-preserved enantiornithean bird specimen from the Late Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation of Utah. It represents a new genus and species, Mirarce eatoni. The specimen was originally collected in 1992, but it was only recently described (and published yesterday!). Atterholt et al. (2018). The most complete enantiornithine from North America and a phylogenetic analysis of the Avisauridae. PeerJ, DOI 10.7717/peerj.5910 Abstract: The most complete known North American enantiornithine was collected in 1992 but never formally described. The so-called “Kaiparowits avisaurid” remains one of the most exceptional Late Cretaceous enantiornithine fossils. We recognize this specimen as a new taxon, Mirarce eatoni (gen. et sp. nov.), and provide a complete anatomical description. We maintain that the specimen is referable to the Avisauridae, a clade previously only known in North America from isolated tarsometatarsi. Information from this specimen helps to clarify evolutionary trends within the Enantiornithes. Its large body size supports previously observed trends toward larger body mass in the Late Cretaceous. However, trends toward increased fusion of compound elements across the clade as a whole are weak compared to the Ornithuromorpha. The new specimen reveals for the first time the presence of remige papillae in the enantiornithines, indicating this feature was evolved in parallel to dromaeosaurids and derived ornithuromorphs. Although morphology of the pygostyle and (to a lesser degree) the coracoid and manus appear to remain fairly static during the 65 million years plus of enantiornithine evolution, by the end of the Mesozoic at least some enantiornithine birds had evolved several features convergent with the Neornithes including a deeply keeled sternum, a narrow furcula with a short hypocleidium, and ulnar quill knobs—all features that indicate refinement of theflight apparatus and increased aerial abilities. We conduct the first cladistic analysis to include all purported avisuarid enantiornithines, recovering an Avisauridae consisting of a dichotomy between North and South American taxa. Based on morphological observations and supported by cladistic analysis, we demonstrate Avisaurus to be paraphyletic and erect a new genus for “A. gloriae,” Gettyia gen. nov. here's the paper: Atterholt et al. Hope you like it! -Christian
@Kane, here is your own piece of Utah to play in Fossils of a new genus and species of an ankylosaurid dinosaur — Akainacephalus johnsoni — have been unearthed in the Kaiparowits Formation of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM), in Kane County, southern Utah, U.S.A. Read more : http://www.geologypage.com/2018/07/newly-discovered-armored-dinosaur-from-utah-reveals-intriguing-family-history.html#ixzz5Lo8zCAde
Oxytropidoceras posted a topic in Fossil NewsNearly complete tyrannosaur fossil airlifted from Utah’s Grand Staircase. Specimen of T. rex-like Teratophoneus curriei dinosaur is heading to Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City for study and possible display. Salt Lake tribune, October 15, 2017 http://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2017/10/15/nearly-complete-tyrannosaur-fossil-airlifted-from-utahs-grand-staircase/ Teratophoneus - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teratophoneus Related paper: Loewen, M.A., Irmis, R.B., Sertich, J.J., Currie, P.J. and Sampson, S.D., 2013. Tyrant dinosaur evolution tracks the rise and fall of Late Cretaceous oceans. PloS one, 8(11), p.e79420. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0079420 Yours, Paul H.