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An enantiornithine bird from the Lower Cretaceous of Queensland, Australia


Current classification of birds recognizes four subclasses: the Archaeornithes, the Enantiornithes, the Odontornithes and the Neornithes. Three of these subclasses were proposed during the nineteenth century, but the Enantiornithes was proposed only five years ago, based on material from the Lecho Formation (Maas-trichtian) of Salt a Province in Argentina1. Further material from Asia (Mongolia) and North America (Mexico) has been referred to the Enantiornithes2, all of it from the Campanian. Now, in addition, a small tibiotarsus found in the Lower Cretaceous (Albian) of Queensland not only represents the first bony material of Mesozoic birds from Australia, but is also the first reported occurrence of an enantiornithine bird in the Lower Cretaceous.

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Molnar, R. An enantiornithine bird from the Lower Cretaceous of Queensland, Australia. Nature 322, 736–738 (1986).

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