Named By: Zhou & Zhang - 2001.
Synonyms: Archaeovolans repatriatus.
Classification: Chordata, Aves, Yanornithiformes, Songlingornithidae.
Species: Y. martini (type).
Size: Estimated 30 centimetres long.
Known locations: China, Liaoning Province.
Time period: Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: 3 specimens.
Along with Microraptor, the discovery of Yanornis was born out of the Archaeoraptor scandal. Named after the Yan Dynasty, Yanornis features several features that are common to modern birds including the absence of the prefrontal bone, a bone that separates the lacrimal bone in front of the eye from the frontal bone that is above the eye. Yanornis still looked like other primitive birds, and still had teeth, ten in the top jaw, and twenty in the bottom jaw. It is also thought that Yanornis ate fish.
- Two new ornithurine birds from the Early Cretaceous of western Liaoning, China. - Chinese Science Bulletin 46(15):1258-1264. - X. Zhou & F. Zhang - 2001.