Enantiornithes facts for kids
early Cretaceous–late Cretaceous
|Zhouornis hani, an example from the Jiufotang Formation of China|
Most had teeth and clawed fingers on each wing, but otherwise looked much like modern birds. Over 80 species of enantiornitheans have been named, but some names represent only single bones, so probably not all are valid species.
The name "Enantiornithes" means "opposite birds", from Ancient Greek enantios (ἐνάντιος) "opposite" + ornithes (όρνιθες) "birds" . The name was coined by Cyril Alexander Walker in a landmark paper which established the group. In his paper, Walker explained what he meant by "opposite":
Perhaps the most fundamental and characteristic difference between the Enantiornithes and all other birds is in the nature of the articulation between the scapula [...] and the coracoid, where the 'normal' condition is completely reversed.
This refers to an anatomical feature. The articulation of the shoulder bones has a concave-convex socket joint which is the reverse of the joint in modern birds.
Images for kids
Undescribed specimen informally referred to the dubious species "Liaoxiornis delicatus", Museo Geominero, Madrid
Enantiornithes Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.