Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of Dinosaurs
Our knowledge of the origin and early evolution of birds has exploded in the past ten to fifteen years. In the 1990s alone, scientists became aware of approximately three times more species of early birds than were previously known, marking the first 85 million years of avian development as a period of remarkable species diversity. Assembling work by an international group of renowned scientists, Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of Dinosaurs is the most authoritative and up-to-date source on early avian evolution currently available. This unique resource provides a comprehensive examination of the known fossil record and is also an unparalleled guide to the fast-paced developments in current research.
Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of Dinosaurs covers a wide range of topics, including discussions of avian origins, the fossil record of feathers and footprints, bone histology, and locomotor evolution. Controversial taxa such as Protoavis, Caudipteryx, and Mononykus receive special treatment. But the heart of the volume presents the anatomy, relationships, and paleobiology of the undisputed Mesozoic aviary. Some of the book's most exciting features are the new definitive descriptions and illustrations of taxa that previously have received only brief notice, such as the alvarezsaurid Shuvuuia; the enantiornithines Sinornis; Eoalulavis, Vorona, and Patagopteryx; and the hesperornithiform Enaliornis.
The origin of birds and their relationship to dinosaurs continue to be hotly debated among paleontologists, ornithologists, and evolutionary biologists. This cutting-edge reference will become an essential resource for those interested in this debate and in the many other fascinating topics relating to the evolution of the earliest known birds.
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Phylogeny Function and Fossils
Cladistic Approaches to the Relationships of Birds to Other Theropod Dinosaurs
Comments and a Pictorial Atlas
Mononykus and Its
Alvarezsaurid Relationships Reconsidered
Anatomy and Systematies
Bone Microstructure of Early Birds
Locomotor Evolution on the Line to Modern Birds
Problems and Solutions
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alvarezsaurids Archaeopteryx articular articulation Aves avian basal bone Brodkorb caudal Caudipteryx cervical Chapter characters Charadriiformes China cladistic Coelurosauria Concornis condyle Confuciusornis coracoid cranial crest Cretaceous birds digit dinosaurs distal end dorsal dromaeosaurids Early Cretaceous Eichstatt Elzanowski Enaliornis enantiornithine Eoalulavis facet feathers Feduccia femur flight foramen Formation fossa fossil furcula fused Gauthier Gobipteryx hindlimb holotype humerus Iberomesornis iiiii iiiii iiiii Journal of Vertebrate Kurochkin L. M. Chiappe Late Cretaceous lateral Lower Cretaceous Maastrichtian Makovicky margin medial Mesozoic Mesozoic birds metacarpal metatarsal Mongolia Mononykus Museum Neornithes neornithine nonavian theropods Norell Novas Olson origin of birds ornithurine Ostrom Padian Patagonykus Patagopteryx phalanx phylogenetic present preserved Protoavis proximal end pterosaur Rahonavis relationships rostral Sanz scapula Science Sereno shaft Shuvuuia Sinornis skeleton skull species specimen sternum surface tarsometatarsus taxa taxon theropod thoracic vertebrae tibiotarsus tion tracks trochlea troodontids tubercle ulna ungual ventral Vertebrate Paleontology volume Wellnhofer Witmer Zhou