Science and Nature

Fossil of 115-Million-Year-Long-established Fowl Chanced on in Brazil

Paleontologists working in Brazil possess uncovered the fossil of an ornithuromorph bird that lived within the center of the Early Cretaceous epoch.

Life reconstruction of Kaririavis mater. Image credit: Divulgação.

Lifestyles reconstruction of Kaririavis mater. Picture credit: Divulgação.

Kaririavis mater lived in what is now Brazil some 115 million years ago (Early Cretaceous epoch).

Kaririavis mater lived within the center of the Cretaceous duration, when the supercontinent Gondwana — which included the South The United States, Africa, Australia, Antarctica and India — turned into as soon as splitting,” said Dr. Ismar de Souza Carvalho, a paleontologist on the Universidade Federal attain Rio de Janeiro and the Universidade de Coimbra, and colleagues.

The unusual species is a member of Ornithuromorpha, a huge community of birds that contains all extinct and residing species however now not Mesozoic enantiornithes.

“It had both passe and contemporary morphological characteristics, making its habits and ecological arena of interest aloof mysterious,” the paleontologists said.

“It had low ft, very big toe phalanges, and a claw on the second toe, very crooked and proportionately gigantic for its measurement, in contrast to these stumbled on in most ornithuromorphs, which had slender ft and slender toes.”

The fossilized stays of Kaririavis mater — an isolated correct foot with some feathers — had been recovered from the Crato Formation at Pedra Branca Mine, in Brazil’s Ceará stutter.

Its titillating foot conformation implies that it will per chance maybe furthermore belong to an unknown ornithuromorph clade with some cursory similarities to residing flightless ratites, such because the rhea or the ostrich.

The 115-million-year-old fossilized foot of Kaririavis mater. Image credit: Carvalho et al., doi: 10.1080/02724634.2021.1988623.

The 115-million-yr-passe fossilized foot of Kaririavis mater. Picture credit: Carvalho et al., doi: 10.1080/02724634.2021.1988623.

In step with the scientists, Kaririavis mater is the earliest identified member of Ornithuromorpha from Gondwana and the oldest fossil bird from South The United States.

“The presence of Early Cretaceous ornithuromorphs in Brazil implies that the clade turned into as soon as in fashion in Gondwana within the center of the Mesozoic,” they said.

“The invention brings mild to the dialogue on the starting put of birds on Earth,” said Professor José Xavier Neto, a researcher on the Universidade Federal attain Ceará.

“China is the arena’s most important supply of passe bird fossils. But, with this extraordinary discovery, the fatherland of the birds is now now not clear and definitive: did the birds seem in China and then hover to Brazil or did they seem in Brazil and then hover to China?”

The invention of Kaririavis mater is described in a paper printed on-line within the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.


Ismar de Souza Carvalho et al. A unusual ornithuromorph bird from the Decrease Cretaceous of South The United States. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, printed on-line November 11, 2021; doi: 10.1080/02724634.2021.1988623

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