Name: Liaoningornis ‭(‬.Liaoning bird‭)‬.
Phonetic: Le-ow-ning-or-niss.
Named By: Hou‭ ‬-‭ ‬1996.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Aves,‭ ‬Enantiornithes,‭ ‬Liaoningornithiformes,‭ ‬Liaoningornithidae.
Species: L.‭ ‬longidigitris‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Uncertain.
Size: About‭ ‬10‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: China,‭ ‬Liaoning Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Yixian Formation.
Time period: Barremian/Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial remains found partially articulated.‭ ‬Remains include the sternum,‭ ‬right leg,‭ ‬both feet,‭ ‬partial right arm,‭ ‬and the fragmentary remains of coracoids and pubis.

       Liaoningornis was one of the first of the constantly expanded number of Mesozoic bird genera discovered in China’s Liaoning province,‭ ‬and although the remains are very incomplete,‭ ‬they indicate a fairly more advanced form than other early Cretaceous bird genera.‭ ‬The sternum‭ (‬breast bone‭) ‬of Liaoningornis is deeply keeled to allow for the attachment of strong and well-developed pectoral muscles that would have made flapping easy to maintain over extended periods of time.‭ ‬The shoulders were also better arranged for a wide degree of motion than other earlier forms,‭ ‬and the claws on the toes were strongly curved,‭ ‬which meant that they could wrap around and grip onto a branch,‭ ‬granting Liaoningornis the ability to perch.‭ ‬Together these features combine to portray a bird that was capable of strong flapping flight,‭ ‬probably between trees and bushes.
       Unfortunately the skull of Liaoningornis is still unknown,‭ ‬so it is impossible to know if this genus still retained teeth.‭ ‬In terms of odds there is a fifty/fifty chance that Liaoningornis had toothed beaks,‭ ‬since some genera‭ ‬that lived at the same time as Liaoningornis such as Jeholornis are known to have had reduced teeth,‭ ‬with some specimens seemingly having no teeth at all.‭ ‬But when coupled with the presence of some later genera still having teeth,‭ ‬we just cannot say for certain what Liaoningornis had.
       Our understanding of Liaoningornis continues to develop with a‭ ‬2012‭ ‬study by O’Conner revealing the genus to actually be a enantiornithine bird,‭ ‬and similar to Eoalulavis.

Further reading
-‭ ‬The discovery of a Jurassic carinate bird in China‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lianhai Hou‭ ‬-‭ ‬1996.
-‭ ‬Early adaptive radiation of birds:‭ ‬evidence from fossils from northeastern China‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lianhai Hou,‭ ‬Zhonghe Shou,‭ ‬Larry D.‭ ‬Martin,‭ ‬Alan Feduccia‭ ‬-‭ ‬1996.
-‭ ‬A revised look at Liaoningornis longidigitris‭ (‬Aves‭) ‬-‭ ‬Jingmai K.‭ ‬O'Connor‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.


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