Project 1167: P. Godefroit, A. Cau, H. Dong-Yu, F. Escuillié, W. Wenhao, G. Dyke. 2013. A Jurassic avialan dinosaur from China resolves the early phylogenetic history of birds. Nature. 498 (7454):359-362.
Specimen: † Archaeopteryx (unvouchered)
View: body


The recent discovery of small paravian theropod dinosaurs with well-preserved feathers in the Middle–Late Jurassic Tiaojishan Formation of Liaoning Province (northeastern China)1,2,3,4 has challenged the pivotal position of Archaeopteryx3,4, regarded from its discovery to be the most basal bird. Removing Archaeopteryx from the base of Avialae to nest within Deinonychosauria implies that typical bird flight, powered by the forelimbs only, either evolved at least twice, or was subsequently lost or modified in some deinonychosaurians3,5. Here we describe the complete skeleton of a new paravian from the Tiaojishan Formation of Liaoning Province, China. Including this new taxon in a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis for basal Paraves does the following: (1) it recovers it as the basal-most avialan; (2) it confirms the avialan status of Archaeopteryx; (3) it places Troodontidae as the sister-group to Avialae; (4) it supports a single origin of powered flight within Paraves; and (5) it implies that the early diversification of Paraves and Avialae took place in the Middle–Late Jurassic period.

Read the article »

Article DOI: 10.1038/nature12168

Project DOI: 10.7934/P1167,
This project contains
  • 1 Media
  • 2 Documents
  • 2 Taxa
  • 1 Specimen
Total size of project's media files: 1.21M

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 1167
  • Creation Date:
    01 April 2014
  • Publication Date:
    13 May 2022
  • Project views: 3789

    Authors' Institutions

    • Jilin University

    • Northeast Normal University

    • University of Southampton

    • Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

    • Shenyang Normal University

    • Museo Geologico ‘Giovanni Capellini’ (Bologna)

    • Eldonia - Paleontologie


    member name taxa specimens media
    MorphoBank Curator
    Project Administrator
    Andrea Cau
    Full membership
    Pascal Godefroit
    Full membership

    Project has no matrices defined.

    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views3789
    Project overview385
    Documents list284
    Media views1197Media search (1026 views); M844689 (171 views);
    Views for media list391
    Specimen list588
    Taxon list675

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project2
    Document downloads2Godefroit et al Matrix (2 downloads);