Named By: Z. Zhou & F. Zhang - 1998.
Classification: Chordata, Aves, Yanornithiformes, Hongshanornithidae.
Species: H. longicresta (type).
Diet: Uncertain, but possibly a generalist.
Size: Wingspan roughly about 32 centimetres.
Known locations: China - Yixian Formation.
Time period: Barremian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Several individuals, some complete.
was an early bird that lived in China during the early Cretaceous
period. Most interpretations of Hongshanornis
depict it as being a
wading bird but one that was still capable of flight. The wings were
fairly broad and tapered out to triangular points at the end. If
Hongshanornis was a wader then it was most likely
also an insectivore
plucking up small invertebrates from the mud and aquatic plants.
In the type specimen of Hongshanornis it was considered that there might have been a crest present on the head. This was because an impression was left around the skull on the slab that the specimen was preserved on, though it was also noted that this impression might have been artificially created during the fossilisation process. A second specimen of Hongshanornis was later found without any hint of feather impressions, meaning that this specimen at least had no crest at the time of death, and possibly no members of the genus had a crest.
- Discovery of an ornithurine bird and its implication for Early Cretaceous avian radiation. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102(32):18998-19002. - Z. Zhou & F. Zhang - 1998.
- A new specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Hongshanornis longicresta: Insights into the aerodynamics and diet of a basal ornithuromorph. - PeerJ 2: e234. - Luis M. Chiappe, Bo Zhao, Jingmai K. O’Connor, Gao Chunling, Xuri Wang, Michael Habib, Jesus Marugan-Lobon, Qingjin Meng & Xiaodong Cheng - 2014.