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Systematics: Aves (Bird), procellariiforme (group of seabirds) procellariidae (family petrels, fulmars, albatross) Propellonectes
Propellonectes buriani 2

Two petrel of the future (Propellonectes buriani) in pursuit of a cephalopod bank (Ichthyosepia scombrus). These birds are excellent swimmers propel themselves thanks to their back legs hypertrophied. Unlike their cousin the 21st century, they lost the ability to fly. They still, however, lay their eggs on land.

Etymology: "propello" for propulsion, "nektes" for swimmer (and suffix genus name petrels). The species name is a tribute to Czech painter and book illustrator Zdenek Burian (1905-1981), grand master of prehistoric reconstitution according to his biographer Vilem Bischof. 

Cousin of the 21st century: Macronectes giganteus, the southern giant petrel. 

Size: 1,30 meter for the male, et 1 meter for the female. 


Propellonectes buriani

The male at the top and female at the bottom

Morphology: the beak is made up of horny plates (characteristics of Procellariiform) that cover the nasal tube. This tube visible above the spout in many petrel of the 21st century opens here in the back. This heavy and massive nose (it acts as a ballast when diving) features bright colors in the male, that is also found on its hind legs: as with many birds of the 21st century (eg Puffin-monk ), the color and pattern of the beak are shimmering during the mating season. But the main feature is Propellonectes hypertrophy legs, webbed into powerful oars and very mobile, like a well-known fossil sea bird, named Hesperornis (of North America Cretaceous and Russia). 

Ecology: This bird lives in the clear waters of surfaces. Tolerance to the clear water surface. Tolerance to seawater (euyhalinité) is provided by a salt gland housed behind the nasal and two times larger than its older cousin. Opportunist, he party hunting (character inherited petrels of the 21st century). In each group, with tens individuals, youth, protected by adults to remain center. Hunting techniques are varied. Sometimes the group turns into a pack while leaving little chance for its prey. Their prey in question are cephalopods to fish pace, Ichthyosepia scombrus

Baby propellonectes

These young chicks a few days already have enlarged hind legs, useful to propel the body and escape predators.

Reproduction:
Males, recognizable by its beak and blue legs exposing them in a marine mating dance before a possible partner (just as do the Blue-footed booby, Sula nebouxii on the land). After mating and after coming out (painfully) water, hundreds of females gather on the beach, forming a vast place nesting area. Females dig each hole in the sand where they lay 6 eggs (be more than what lays the cousin of the 21st century, the southern giant petrel that contante one egg) mottled gray and fairly long. After having performed the task and punched the nest, females return Propellonectes in water. Incubation lasts two months after the baby Propellonectes hatch out of the sand and head to the sea to reach adults. Unfortunately, only a few individuals were able to reach the sea, the others are devoured by flying carnivores (Velocipterus acrobatus).

Old version of Propellonectes buriani: Calcitriornis

Calcitriornis sp

Calcitriornis sp.

Apart from the color on the body, neck and head; the main features that differentiates Calcitriornis of Propellonectes are at the beak: the beak is not toothed, there are no characteristic nasal tube Procellariidae.

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