Enantiornis

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Enantiornis
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 70 Ma
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Enantiornithes
Order: Enantiornithiformes
Martin, 1983
Family: Enantiornithidae
Nesov, 1984
Genus: Enantiornis
Walker, 1981
Species: E. leali
Binomial name
Enantiornis leali
Walker, 1981

Enantiornis is a genus of enantiornithine birds. The type and only currently accepted species E. leali is from Late Cretaceous rocks at El Brete, Argentina.[1]

They are among the largest enantiornithine birds discovered to date, with a length in life of around one meter (excluding tail) and its ecological niche resembled that of a mid-sized vulture or eagle.

E. leali was possibly fairly closely related to Avisaurus, another genus of probably carnivorous enantiornithines, though its exact relationship is unclear. It is placed in a family of its own, Enantiornithidae.

Other species from Asia that were previously placed in this genus are now split off. The former Enantiornis martini is now placed in Incolornis, while the former Enantiornis walkeri is now tentatively assigned to Explorornis. The reasons for this are that these birds were described when the diversity of enantiornithine birds was underestimated.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walker, C.A. (1981) New subclass of birds from the Cretaceous of South America. Nature 292:51–53.