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The world's first toothless bird with a beak, named after a Chinese sage, is so clumsy?

Time:2022-10-04 12:06:42 author:Beast Read:832次
The world's first toothless bird with a beak, named after a Chinese sage, is so clumsy?

The Confucius bird is one of the most abundant and most famous of all Mesozoic birds. The Confucius bird is now completely extinct, and there are more than 1,000 exquisite specimens in Chinese museums, providing important information about its anatomy, plumage and way of life. They are the earliest records of beaked toothless birds, which determine the present life. The evolutionary direction of birds. The first "toothless bird" All living birds "inherit" the toothless feature of Confucius bird, which has become a common feature of living birds. The first seed-eating ancient birds used their powerful beaks to open the seed shell, and they devoured the soft part of the seed, or endosperm. Their digestive tract is greatly expanded, becoming a crop to store large quantities of food in transit, where the seeds are softened before entering specialized stomachs or gizzards. The skull of the Confucius bird has no teeth, but traces of the horny sheath remain. The horny beak extends in front of the bony nucleus, and the long, pointed beak curves upward. External nostrils resembling a triangle, bounded by the anterior and maxillae, have been displaced posteriorly from the rostral tip. At the top of the skull, the conjoined premaxilla extended considerably backwards, had contacted the forehead, and lacked all the nasal ala of modern birds, but the actuating hinge was not developed. The forehead is distended, showing the expansion of the cerebral lobes. Viewed from the side, the nasal process of the maxilla contains a small accessory nostril, as in some Zylosaurs, behind which the preorbital foramen is greatly reduced to a slit. Their eye sockets are large and protected by the sclera. At the same time, the complete double foramen is preserved, with strong retroorbital bone, which prohibits chain and cranial movement. The evolutionary milestone of Confucius birds is not large. According to the skeleton fossils, their body size is about the same as that of living crows. After their wings are spread, they can reach 0.7m, and their weight is estimated to be up to 1.5kg. With its reversed hind toes, powerful back-curved claws, short appendages, and slender tail feathers, the Confucius may have been an arboreal bird, using its large-clawed, climbing-friendly hands. Climbing trees. Another hypothesis is that Confucius birds may live in flocks near freshwater lakes, catching fish and aquatic animals with their soft beaks as they swim. Residual fish were recently found in the gastric contents of some Confucius bird fossil samples, suggesting that Confucius bird, like its ancestors, may have been a carnivore. The loss of teeth and the appearance of horns are milestones in the evolutionary history of birds, and these early birds may have devoured food and then shifted the chewing process primarily to their gizzards. Like modern birds, the skeleton of the Confucius bird shows beautiful imprints of profile feathers, showing details of leaf structure including rachis, twigs, and twigs. There appears to be sexual dimorphism in Confucius bird specimens, as reflected in their tail feather imprints. Male and female individuals are often found kept together in a single layer, and male birds may have a pair of long, banded tail feathers that are longer than the full length of the rest of the body. Male Confucius birds use it for courtship, and females do not have these tail feathers, which is similar to the morphology and living habits of living birds. The clumsy fliers transitioned from dinosaurs to birds, and birds gradually began to conquer the sky. At first, they could glide briefly, with large feathers on their legs and claws. Confucius birds evolved completely different from primitive birds. They lost large feathers on their legs and feet and became monoplanes, with the forelimbs being the only lift surface. Despite the formation of the pygodromes, the Confucius bird's ability to fly is still low, as reflected in the primitive structure of its flight organs. The scapular coracoid healed like a non-avian theropod, not as flexible as in modern birds. The coracoid process is short and has no upper coracoid pulley that can lift the wings. The glenoid faces sideways rather than upwards, which means that normal upstrokes are difficult for Confucius birds. The sternum of the Confucius bird is flat, which indicates weakness in the flight muscles. In modern birds, the deep keel in the sternum carries powerful flight muscles. Although the primary flight feathers of Confucius birds, like flying birds, are highly asymmetrical, the blades of these feathers are narrow, and the central quill in cross section is too narrow and weak to withstand the pressure of the downstroke. Confucius birds did not develop the small wing feathers that control slow flight. The lateral position of the joint Meng lacks the upper coracoid pulley, flat sternum, and structurally weak flight feathers, which prevent the Confucius bird from vigorous flapping flight. From these characteristics, it is not difficult to see that the flying ability of the Confucius bird is very limited. The first step in conquering the sky Although Confucius birds are clumsy fliers, they still took an important step for birds to conquer the sky. Compared with bird-like dinosaurs, Confucius birds evolved long, narrow wings with average wingspan and The large geometric chord ratios, like those of the living bird sea oyster, and the asymmetrical flight feathers suggest that they were excellent gliders. Confucius birds form an anterior membrane, the lift-generating skin folds that connect the shoulders to the wrists. Because the flapping ability is not developed enough, Confucius bird cannot take off from the ground. In addition, the long tail of males hinders terrestrial lifestyles. However, the Confucius bird can take off from a branch, speed up its flight, slide from tree to tree in an undulating motion, or forage on a lake without flapping its wings. The instability created by the loss of a bony tail is not an obstacle to gliding flight, but the maneuverable wings created for aerial turns have opened up new opportunities for Confucius birds. For most flying animals, if they can't consciously manipulate or choose their own direction, then the animal's flight is useless, and pure gliding is of limited significance for most animals to survive. At the expense of stability, Confucius Bird gained mobility. On long journeys between its habitat and feeding area, the formation of the pygodromes allows Confucius to be more maneuverable as it hovers in rising thermals. To stay in thermals, Confucius birds can tilt their wings and circle as tightly as possible near the center of the airflow. Relying on the updraft in the thermals to maintain or gain altitude, perhaps the Confucius bird is the first mobile bird to soar in the open area of ​​Jehol, they have the formation of powerful and complex flight organs, and flapping flight must appear in In the evolution of anti-birds. At this moment, the birds are ready to conquer the sky.


The Confucius bird named after the Chinese sage and great Confucian scholar is a milestone in the entire evolutionary history of birds. They have broken away from their teeth and have a more complete flight system. These characteristics are inherited by living birds down, and it has remained to this day.


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