New PDF release: Trends in ornithology research

Environmental Studies

By Pedro K. Ulrich

ISBN-10: 161942326X

ISBN-13: 9781619423268

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Lockley and Jerald D. Harris morphologies that are more suggestive of the pedal morphologies of rare, Early Cretaceous, basal ornithuromorphs (with the exception of Shandongornipes, for which no known Mesozoic bird has matching pedal morphology). The only potentially good match between an Early Cretaceous avian taxon and a contemporaneous ichnotaxon is the basal ornithuran Gansus: its webbed, functionally tridactyl feet match fairly well webbed Uhangrichnus tracks. Web-footed tracks are also known from the Late Cretaceous (Hwangsanipes, Ignotornis, and Sarjeantopodus), as well as the Cenozoic, but Gansus is not known beyond the late Early Cretaceous.

7. The vast majority of avian ichnotaxa represent shorebird, wader, and other water bird species (or, in the Mesozoic, taxa like these in ecology and pedal morphology) that were active in lake and ocean margin settings. Avian diversity inferred in such settings is comparable to modern settings. 8. The second most common category of avian fossil footprints is that of large, ground dwelling species like the moa, emu, and rhea. Such tracks are primarily Cenozoic; few such bird tracks are known from the Mesozoic.

Roadrunners, ducks, herons, spoonbills), despite a lack of corresponding skeletal evidence for such taxonomic groups and scarcely any evidence of taxa with morphologies matching the tracks. 10. Current evidence suggests that during the Early Cretaceous, birds were particularly abundant and diverse in the regions that are now East Asia. This may indicate that On the Trail of Early Birds: A Review of the Fossil Footprint Record… 35 the area was a center of for an avian evolutionary radiation. However, differences in the preservation potential between this and other regions may also contribute to this apparent pattern.

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Trends in ornithology research by Pedro K. Ulrich

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