Enaliornis

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Enaliornis
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 100Ma
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Hesperornithiformes
Family: Enaliornithidae
Furbringer, 1888
Genus: Enaliornis
Seeley, 1876
Type species
Enaliornis barretti
Seeley, 1876[1]
Species
  • Enaliornis barretti Seeley, 1876
  • Enaliornis sedgwicki Seeley, 1876
  • Enaliornis seeleyi Galton & Martin, 2002

Enaliornis is a genus of hesperornithine bird which lived in the late Early Cretaceous, making it the oldest known hesperornithine. Fossils have been found near Cambridge, England. Due to its lack of certain[clarification needed] hesperornithid apomorphies, they were much more "conventional" birds and were initially held to be Gaviiformes (loons/divers).[2]

Enaliornis was originally named Pelagornis ('sea bird') by Seeley in 1866, but that name was preoccupied by a Miocene bird related to the pelicans. Three species have been described: The small Enaliornis sedgwicki, the medium-sized Enaliornis seeleyi, and the large Enaliornis barretti. The size of the largest of the three species was comparable to a large pigeon.[3] Together, they are the only birds currently assigned to the family Enaliornithidae. The presumed hesperornithine Potamornis from the Late Cretaceous Lance Formation of Buck Creek (USA) may also be related to this group.

Based on the remnants that have been studied, it has not been determined if these birds had teeth like the others from this order. However, they were believed to not have developed wings.[3]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Brands, S. (2012)
  2. ^ Harrison & Walker (1973)
  3. ^ a b Perrins, C. (1987)