Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 83.5Ma
|Holotype of A. celer|
(Marsh, 1873a) [originally Ichthyornis]
Apatornis is a prehistoric terrestrial bird genus endemic to North America during the Late Cretaceous living about 83.5 mya. It is known from a single fossil specimen: a synsacrum, the fused series of vertebrae over the hips. While there hasn't been a lot of remains to utilize, enough has been found to reasonably assert that the length of this bird was between 7–8 inches (18–20 cm).
Apatornis was named by Marsh (1873). Its type is Ichthyornis celer. It was assigned to Ichthyornidae by Marsh (1873); to Odontotormae by Marsh (1880); to Ichthyornithiformes by Sepkoski (2002); to Neornithes by Hope (2002); and to Ornithurae by Padian (2004).
It lived around the Santonian-Campanian boundary. Its remains were found in the Smoky Hill Chalk at Twin Butte Creek, USA. It was long allied with Ichthyornis in error. A single species is known, Apatornis celer. The supposed "A." retusus is now in Palintropus, and "A". marshi is now in Iaceornis.
- PaleoBiology Database: Apatornis, basic info
- Perrins, C. (1987)
- Mortimer (2004)
- Mortimer, Michael (2004). "Phylogeny of taxa". The Theropod Database. Retrieved 02 MAR 2013.
- Perrins, Christopher (1987) . Harrison, C.J.O., ed. Birds: Their Lifes, Their Ways, Their World. Reader's Digest Association, Inc. pp. 167–168. ISBN 0895770652
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