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Enantiornis
Fossil range: Late Cretaceous
Enantiornis
A pair of Enantiornis.
Scientific classification

Class:

Aves

Subclass:

Enantiornithes

Superorder:

Euenantiornithes

Order:

Enantiornithiformes

Family:

Enantiornithidae (disputed)

Genus:

Enantiornis

Species:

  • E. leali

Enantiornis is an extinct genus of predatory enantiornithine bird. The type and only currently accepted species E. leali is from Late Cretaceous rocks at El Brete, Argentina.

It was among the largest enantiornithine discovered to date, with a length of around one meter (excluding tail)[1] and its ecological niche resembled that of a mid-sized vulture or eagle.

E. leali was possibly fairly closely related to Avisaurus, another genus of carnivorous enantiornithines, though its exact relationship is unclear. It is placed in a family of its own (Enantiornithidae), though most researchers consider this premature.

Other species from Asia that were previously placed in this genus are now split off. The former Enantiornis martini is now placed in Incolornis, while the former Enantiornis walkeri is now tentatively assigned to Explorornis. The reasons for this are that these birds were described when the diversity of enantiornithine birds was underestimated.

DiscoveryEdit

ReferencesEdit

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