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Yevgeny Nikolayevich Kurochkin (Евгений Николаевич Курочкин; 12 July 1940 - 13 December 2011) was a Russian paleornithologist at the Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He served as President of the Menzbier Ornithological Society.

Yevgeny Nikolayevich Kurochkin
Evgeny Kurochkin.jpg
Born(1940-07-12)July 12, 1940
DiedDecember 13, 2011(2011-12-13) (aged 71)
ResidenceSoviet Union
EducationDoctor of Science (1994)
Alma materMoscow State University (1964)
Scientific career
InstitutionsPaleontological Institute
ThesisThe main stages of the evolution of the class of birds
Doctoral advisorGeorgi Dementiev

He graduated from the Moscow State University in 1964. Most of his field work was done in Central Asia, Mongolia, Cuba, and Vietnam. In 1982, Kurochkin described Ambiortus, which he thought to be the oldest ornithurine (modern-type bird).[1][2] Kurochkin named the new species after his peer Georgi Petrovich Dementyev (1898-1969).

Opposing the theropod origin of modern birds, Kurochkin maintained that archosaurs and dinosaurs were two distinct lineages. He repeatedly questioned the assumption that Archaeopteryx and Enantiornithes were early birds. According to Kurochkin, those moderately derived theropods became extinct without leaving any descendants.[3] He also supported the Protoavis hypothesis by Sankar Chatterjee.

The Aquila kurochkini Boev 2013, an extinct eagle from Bulgaria, is named after Yevgeny Kurochkin,[4] as is the Longusunguis kurochkini Wang, Zhou, O’Connor et Zelenkov, 2014(first described in 2014). Other bird species named after Yevgeny Kurochkin are: Anas kurochkini Zelenkov et Panteleyev, 2014, Palaelodus kurochkini Zelenkov, 2013, Zheroia kurochkini Nessov, 1988, Falco kurochkini Suárez et Olson, 2001, Glaucidium kurochkini Campbell et Bocheński, 2012, Euronyctibius kurochkini Mourer-Chauviré, 1989.


  1. ^ Chiappe, Luis M.; Witmer, Lawrence M. (2002-12-05). Mesozoic Birds. ISBN 9780520200944.
  2. ^ Benton, Michael J.; Shishkin, Mikhail A.; Unwin, David M. (2003-12-04). The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521545822.
  3. ^ Schultze, Hans-Peter; Trueb, Linda (1991). Origins of the Higher Groups of Tetrapods. ISBN 978-0801424977.
  4. ^ Boev, Z. N. (2013). "Aquila kurochkini sp. n., a new Late Pliocene eagle (Aves, Accipitriformes) from Varshets (NW Bulgaria)". Paleontological Journal. 47 (11): 1344–1354. doi:10.1134/S003103011311004X.