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Temporal range:
Early CretaceousPresent, 131–0 Ma
Sapeornis chaoyangensis.JPG
Fossil specimen of Sapeornis chaoyangensis, Hong Kong Science Museum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Clade: Euavialae
Clade: Avebrevicauda
Paul, 2002

Avebrevicauda (meaning "birds with short tails") is a group which includes all avialan species with ten or fewer free vertebrae in the tail. The group was named in 2002 by Gregory S. Paul to distinguish short-tailed avialans from their ancestors, such as Archaeopteryx, which had long, reptilian tails.[1]

Cladogram following the results of a phylogenetic study by Lefèvre et al., 2014:[2]




Omnivoropterygiformes Czerkas & Ji 2002


Confuciusornithiformes Hou et al. 1995

Ornithothoraces Chiappe & Calvo 1994


  1. ^ Paul, G.S. (2002). Dinosaurs of the Air. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 460 pp.
  2. ^ Lefèvre, U.; Hu, D.; Escuillié, F. O.; Dyke, G.; Godefroit, P. (2014). "A new long-tailed basal bird from the Lower Cretaceous of north-eastern China". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 113 (3): 790–804. doi:10.1111/bij.12343.