Puneet Varma (Editor)

Neuquenornis

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Kingdom  Animalia
Family  †Avisauridae
Rank  Species
Clade  †Enantiornithes
Phylum  Chordata
Genus  †Neuquenornis Chiappe & Calvo, 1994
Similar  Concornis, Gobipteryx, Patagopteryx, Boluochia, Avisaurus

Neuquenornis volans is a species of enantiornithine birds which lived during the late Cretaceous period in today's Patagonia, Argentina. It is the only known species of the genus Neuquenornis. Its fossils were found in the Santonian Bajo de la Carpa Formation, dating from about 85-83 million years ago. This was a sizeable bird for its time, with a tarsometatarsus 46.8mm long. Informal estimates suggest that it measured nearly 30 cm (12 in) in length excluding the tail[1].

N. volans was described by Chiappe and Calvo in 1994. It was also mentioned in previous papers by Chiappe, but named only by its catalog number.

The holotype fossil is catalogued as MUCPv-142. It is in the collection of the Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Buenos Aires, Neuquen, Argentina.

Chiappe and Calvo (1994) placed N. volans in the Family Avisauridae, near Avisaurus in the Enantiornithiformes. A more recent, unpublished, unreviewed, analysis that includes many newly described Enantiornithes finds it closer to Concornis and Cathayornis (or Sinornis).

Etymology: "Flying bird from Neuquén Province". Neuquenornis, from Neuquén Province + Ancient Greek ornis (όρνις) "bird". volans, Latin for "flying" in reference to the species' well-developed wing skeleton.

References

Neuquenornis Wikipedia


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