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Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: †Saurornithes
Ordo : † Yandangithiformes
Familia : † Yandangithidae
Genus: † Yandangornis
Species: Y. longicaudus


Yandangornis Zheng-Quan Cai & Li-Jun Zhao, 1999

Yandangornis is a genus of primitive bird (or possibly non-avialan theropod) from the Late Cretaceous. It lived 85 million years ago in what is now China. The type species, Y. longicaudus, was formally described by Cai and Zhou in 1999. The holotype specimen is in the collection of the Zhejiang Museum of natural History, with accession number M1236. The fossil was discovered in 1986, near Linhai City in Zhejiang Province, China. It includes most of one complete skeleton.

The specimen is small, roughly the size of Archaeopteryx, with a total length around 588 millimeters. The head is 50 mm long. It is preserved in a seated position and visible from the ventral aspect. It has a long tail, with traces of tail feathers preserved. It has no teeth and no enlarged 2nd toe claw.

Cai and Zhao noted some features of Yandangornis that are more primitive than Archaeopteryx, and some, like toothlessness, that could be more derived.[1]

Zhou and Zhang, 2007, reviewed the specimen and concluded that it lacks the diagnostic characters of birds, and that it is thus likely to be a non-avian dinosaur.[2]


1. ^ Cai, Zhengquan, Zhao, Lijun (1999). "A long tailed bird from the Late Cretaceous of Zhejiang". Science in China Series D-Earth Sciences Vol. 42, No. 4, 1999 pp.434-441. ISSN: 1006-9313
2. ^ Zhou, Zhonghe, Zhang, Fucheng. (2007) "Mesozoic birds of China––a synoptic review." "Frontiers of Biology in China" 2(1):1-14

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