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Known only from wing bones and, possibly, partial lower legs bones (tibiae), Martinavis cruzyensis is one of many Maastrichtian enantiornithes for which the entire body cannot be reliably reocnstructed. Similar species referred to Martinavis from Argentina have been proposed as potential synonyms of either Soroavisaurus (a large, raptorial avisaurid) or Yungavolucris (a stout swimming or diving form). Given the trans-Atlantic distribution of Martinavis species from Argentina to France, a marine lifestyle seems more likely, so it is reconstructed that way here.
This was painted on the morning of 10 March 2013, the day the namesake of this genus passed away. Larry Martin was a staunch opponent of the prevailing hypothesis that birds descended from dinosaurs, supposing instead that they evolved from an unknown group of archosaurians perhaps similar to the prolacertiform genus Longisquama. While Martin's views on bird origins caused a great deal of controversy in the paleontological community, his contributions to the field of paleoornithology and Mesozoic birds and stem-birds were invaluable.
Media: Digital, Adobe Photoshop CS5 with WACOM Bamboo. Photo: Nikon D40
Peelback © Matt Martyniuk 2010-2013