By Gerald Mayr
Wisdom of the evolutionary historical past of birds has a lot superior in fresh a long time. Fossils from serious time classes are being defined at exceptional premiums and glossy phylogenetic analyses have supplied a framework for the interrelationships of the extant teams. This publication offers an summary of the avian fossil list and its paleobiological value, and it's the in basic terms updated textbook that covers either Mesozoic and extra modern-type Cenozoic birds in a few aspect. The reader is brought to key good points of basal avians and the morphological variations that experience happened within the evolution in the direction of sleek birds. An account of the Cenozoic fossil checklist sheds mild at the biogeographic historical past of the extant avian teams and discusses fossils within the context of present phylogenetic hypotheses. This overview of the evolutionary background of birds not just addresses scholars and validated researchers, however it can also be an invaluable resource of knowledge for an individual else with an curiosity within the evolution of birds and a average heritage in biology and geology.
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Extra info for Avian Evolution: The Fossil Record of Birds and its Paleobiological Significance
2010). Particularly unusual are the integumentary structures associated with the scansoriopterygid Epidexipteryx, which consist of parallel filaments (Zhang et al. 2008a). Whether these latter structures represent one of the earlier stages of the feather evolution model outlined earlier remains elusive, but it is notable that similar parallel filaments were reported from the ornithischian dinosaur Kulindadromeus, in F E AT H E R E V O L U T I O N 33 which, however, they seem to arise from scales (Godefroit et al.
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.
2014). Other than in Archaeopteryx, true pennaceous feathers, with a shaft and a vane, occur in, for example, the oviraptorosaurs Caudipteryx and Protarchaeopteryx, the troodontid-like Xiaotingia and Anchiornis, and the dromaeosaur Microraptor (O’Connor et al. 2012a; Foth et al. 2014). The wing and tail feathers of these taxa have a modern-type morphology and the presence of barbules can be deduced from the fact that the vanes form a coherent surface. Because some of these animals are considered primarily flightless, it was assumed that pennaceous feathers initially evolved in a non-aerodynamic context, and an initial function for signaling or display was proposed (Xu and Guo 2009; Li et al.
Avian Evolution: The Fossil Record of Birds and its Paleobiological Significance by Gerald Mayr