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This is the most diverse Cretaceous bird group, consisting of 40 or more species from the Early Cretaceous of China, Australia and Spain, and the Late Cretaceous of Argentina, Mexico, USA, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Madagascar, Australia and France. They range from the sparrow-sized Sinornis to Enantiornis with a wingspan of 1 metre. Most had teeth, although Gobipteryx was toothless. Avian features such as the foramen triosseum (part of the wingbeat pulley mechanism), a strut-like coracoid for support of flight musculature, the alula and the reversed hallux are evident in some specimens.

Author: Robert Davis
Last updated: 21/11/05

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Websites produced by students on the MSc Palaeobiology programme in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol for academic year 2005-6