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ON THE TRAIL OF EARLY BIRDS: A REVIEW OF THE FOSSIL FOOTPRINT RECORD OF AVIAN MORPHOLOGICAL AND BEHAVIORAL EVOLUTION $0.00
Authors:  Martin G. Lockley and Jerald D. Harris
Abstract:
Fossil footprints provide important evidence regarding the
morphology, behavior, distribution, and ecology of ancient animals. In
recent years, the ichnological record (pertaining to fossils other than
skeletal or body parts, most familiarly and commonly tracks) of major
tetrapod clades has been studied intensively. The body fossil record
amply demonstrates that the origin of birds lies within the theropod
dinosaur lineage (making birds extant dinosaurs, in an evolutionary
sense), but the ichnological record contributes much valuable information
concerning behavioral shifts during both this evolutionary transition and the early diversification of birds. Here, for the first time, we review the
entire avian track record, including its specialized ichnotaxonomy, from
the Mesozoic (the “Age of Reptiles,” 250-65 million years ago) and
Cenozoic (the “Age of Mammals and Birds,” 65 million years ago
through the present, including the Holocene) and consider how the
evidence impacts the understanding of avian evolution and ecology. 


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ON THE TRAIL OF EARLY BIRDS: A REVIEW OF THE FOSSIL FOOTPRINT RECORD OF AVIAN MORPHOLOGICAL AND BEHAVIORAL EVOLUTION