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Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 125–120 Ma
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Clade: Yanornithiformes
Family: Songlingornithidae
Hou, 1997
Type species
Songlingornis linghensis
Hou, 1997


  • Yanornithidae Zhou & Zhang, 2001
  • Aberratiodontuidae Gong, Hou & Wang, 2004
  • Yixianornithidae Zhang & Zhou, 2006

Songlingornithidae is a family of early ornithuromorph birds from the early Cretaceous Period of China. All known specimens come from the Jiufotang Formation, dating to the early Aptian age, 120 million years ago.

The family Songlingornithidae was first named by Hou in 1997 to contain the type genus, Songlingornis.[1] Clarke et al. (2006) was first to find a close relationship between Songlingornis and the "yanornithids".[2]

The name was originally coined to reflect a close relationship between the two supposedly similar (but poorly preserved) bird fossils, of the genera Songlingornis and Chaoyangia. However, subsequent studies found that Chaoyangia was probably not closely related to Songlingornis. Instead, Songlingornis was found to be closely related to another group which had been given the name Yanornithidae--the name Songlingornithidae, having been named first, took precedence.[3] Several more recent studies have found that the hongshanornithids are probably also a member of this group.[3][4] At least one study has found the late Cretaceous Mongolian bird Hollanda to be a member of this group.[5]




  1. ^ Hou, (1997). Mesozoic Birds of China. Taiwan Provincial Feng Huang Ku Bird Park. Taiwan: Nan Tou. 228 pp.
  2. ^ Clarke, Zhou and Zhang, (2006). "Insight into the evolution of avian flight from a new clade of Early Cretaceous ornithurines from China and the morphology of Yixianornis grabaui." Journal of Anatomy, 208: 287-308.
  3. ^ a b O'Connor, J.K. and Zhou Z. (2012). "A redescription of Chaoyangia beishanensis (Aves) and a comprehensive phylogeny of Mesozoic birds." Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, (advance online publication). doi:10.1080/14772019.2012.690455
  4. ^ Zhou, S.; Zhou, Z.; O'Connor, J. (2013). "A new piscivorous ornithuromorph from the Jehol Biota". Historical Biology: 1. doi:10.1080/08912963.2013.819504.
  5. ^ O’Connor, J. K.; Zhang, Y.; Chiappe, L. M.; Meng, Q.; Quanguo, L.; Di, L. (2013). "A new enantiornithine from the Yixian Formation with the first recognized avian enamel specialization". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 33: 1. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.719176.
  6. ^ Mikko's Phylogeny Archive [1] Haaramo, Mikko (2007). "Ornithuromorpha – Modern Birds and relatives". Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  7. ^ (net, info) [2]. "Taxonomic lists- Aves". Retrieved 30 December 2015.

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