Fossil range: Middle Eocene
| Scientific classification
Amitabha is an extinct bird known from the Bridger Formation of Wyoming, which is of Middle Eocene age (approximately 50 million years before the present). In 2002, Bonnie Gulas-Wrobleski and Anton Wrobleski described and named the species; explaining their choice of name, they wrote, "urbsinterdictensis refers to the "Forbidden City" locality of Wyoming, and Amitabha is for Amitabha Buddha, the bodhisattva of enlightenment and compassion, who commonly adopts the form of a peacock when incarnated in the material world". Their analysis found A. urbsinterdictensis to be a crown-group galliform, and a member of the "phasanioids", the group that also includes such birds as peacocks, pheasants, and turkeys. However, a 2009 study by Daniel Ksepka found the species to belong neither to the crown nor the stem of the galliformes, but rather to have affinities to the Rallidae (rails).
- Gulas-Wroblewski, B. E.; Wroblewski, A. F.-J. (2002). "A crown-group galliform bird from the Middle Eocene Bridger Formation of Wyoming". Palaeontology 46: 1269-1280. doi:10.1046/j.0031-0239.2003.00340.x.
- Ksepka, D. T. (2009). "Broken gears in the avian molecular clock: new phylogenetic analyses support stem galliform status for Gallinuloides wyomingensis and rallid affinities for Amitabha urbsinterdictensis.". Cladistics. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2009.00250.x.