Reconstructing Changchengornis

Changchengornis hengdaoziensis
(Ji et al. 1999, Chiappe et al. 1999; GMV-2129) is an Early Cretaceous relative of Zhongornis and Confuciusornis preserved as a plate and counter plate, flattened, but complete and articulated… with feathers and skin outlines (Figs. 1, 2). 

Figure 1. Changchengornis in situ, plate, counterplate, original drawing and new DGS tracing.

Figure 1. Changchengornis in situ, plate, counterplate, original drawing and new DGS tracing.

Missing from the original tracing
are the postorbital bones, the pubis, some tiny teeth and a series of caudal vertebrae (not a pygostyle) as in other confuciusornithiformes (Fig. 4).

Figure 2. Changchengornis original tracings, counterplate flipped to match plate. DGS found a few more bones than shown here.

Figure 2. Changchengornis original tracings, counterplate flipped to match plate. DGS found a few more bones than shown here.

Here it is reconstructed (Fig. 3).

Figure 2. Changchenornis reconstructed.

Figure 3. Changchenornis reconstructed using DGS.

So far (as I know…)
Changchengornis is the only confuciusornithiform (Fig. 4) with a convex rostrum. It also has the shortest tail. At present this clade only extends from the Late Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous.

Figure 4. Confuciusornithiformes to scale. Note the lack of a pygostyle in the majority of taxa.

Figure 4. Confuciusornithiformes to scale. Note the lack of a pygostyle in these taxa.

References
Ji Q, Chiappe L and Ji S 1999. A new Late Mesozoic confuciusornithid bird from China. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 19(1): 1–7.
Chiappe LM, Ji S-A, J Q, Norell MA 1999. Anatomy and systematics of the Confuciusornithidae (Theropoda:Aves) from the Late Mesozoic of northeastern China. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 242: 89pp. PDF

wiki/Changchengornis

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