Zhou, Zhonghe Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Academia Sinica, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
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An extinct family of flying birds that represents one of the most primitive avian groups. Confuciusornithidae comprises three genera (Confuciusornis, Changchengornis, and Jinzhouornis) and is known exclusively from western Liaoning Province and neighboring areas in northeastern China. Fossils of this group have been collected from the Yixian and Jiufotang formations, which represent freshwater lake deposits that were formed in the Early Cretaceous period about 125–120 million years ago.
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