(fan tailed bird).
Named By: J. K. O'Connor, X. Wang, L. M. Chiappe, C. Gao, Q. Meng, X. Cheng & J. Liu - 2009.
Classification: Chordata, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Enantiornithes, Longipterygidae.
Species: S. cooperorum (type).
Known locations: China, Liaoning Province - Yixian Formation (Dawangzhanhgzi Member).
Time period: Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial remains of an individual preserved flat on a slab.
Shanweiniao is a genus of enantiornithine bird that lived in China during the Early Cretaceous. When the genus was described in 2010, Shanweiniao was the only known enantiornithine which had a wing structure that was capable of generating lift. The name Shanweiniao means ‘fan tailed bird’, a reference to the structure of the tail feathers. Until the description of Shanweiniao, such a tail had only been seen in one other Mesozoic bird genus called Yixianornis. Shanweiniao is noted for having a snout longer than most other known enantiornithines, and this was likely a feeding specialisation that allowed enantiornithine to pluck out small animals such as insects.
- Phylogenetic support for a specialized clade of Cretaceous enantiornithine birds with information from a new species. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(1):188-204. - J. K. O'Connor, X. Wang, L. M. Chiappe, C. Gao, Q. Meng, X. Cheng & J. Liu - 2009.