Elsornis is a genus of enantiornithine bird. Only one species is known, Elsornis keni. It lived during the Late Cretaceous. It is known from a partially articulated fossil skeleton found in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.

Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 80 Ma
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Clade: Enantiornithes
Genus: Elsornis
Chiappe et al., 2007
E. keni
Binomial name
Elsornis keni
Chiappe et al., 2007

The holotype fossil is given catalog number MPD - b 100/201. It is in the collection of the Mongolian Palaeontological Center. The fossil was collected at Togrogiin Shiree, South Gobi Aimak, Mongolia; Djadokhta Formation, Late Cretaceous, Campanian.

The fossil is extremely well preserved in three dimensions. It preserves a pneumatized Furcula, which was a character previously unknown in enantiornithines. Chiappe et al. (2007) conclude from the proportions of Elsornis ' pectoral skeleton that it was flightless or nearly so.[1]


The Genus name Elsornis is derived from the Mongolian word "Els", meaning "sand", and "ornis", the Greek word for "bird". The species name "keni" honors Mr. Ken Hayashibara.


  1. ^ Chiappe, Luis M.; Suzuki, Shigeru; Dyke, Gareth J.; Watabe, Mahito; Tsogtbaatar, K.; Barsbold, Rinchen (2007). "A new Enantiornithine bird from the Late Cretaceous of the Gobi desert". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 5 (2): 193–208. doi:10.1017/S1477201906001969.