Home Previous Random Next Search
meaning: "Confucius bird"
Named By: Zhou Zhonge, Hu Yoaming, Hou Lianhai & Gu Youcai in 1995
Time Period: Early Cretaceous, 125-120 Ma
Location: China - Yixian Formation & Jiufotang Formation
Size: Wingspan about 70 centimetres
Diet: Uncertain but probably at least partially piscivorous. See main text
Fossil(s): Remains of literally hundreds of individuals, many complete with feather detail preservation
Classification: | Chordata | Aves | Avebrevicauda | Pygostylia | Confuciusornithiformes | Confuciusornithidae |
Also known as: | Confuciusornis chuonzhous | Confuciusornis suniae | Jinzhouornis |

Confuciusornis is a genus of primitive crow-sized birds from the Early Cretaceous Yixian and Jiufotang Formations of China, dating from 125 to 120 million years ago. Like modern birds, Confuciusornis had a toothless beak, but close relatives of modern birds such as Hesperornis and Ichthyornis were toothed, indicating that the loss of teeth occurred convergently in Confuciusornis and living birds. It is the oldest known bird to have a beak. It was named after the Chinese moral philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC). Confuciusornis is one of the most abundant vertebrates found in the Yixian Formation, and several hundred complete, articulated specimens have been found.

Read more about Confuciusornis at Wikipedia
PaleoCodex is a weekend hack by Saurav Mohapatra