New Species of Fossile Bird named after Veterinary Scientist Fritz Huchzermeyer

In a paper published online on October 29th in the Chinese Science Bulletin, a research team from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences described a new bird species from the Sihedang locality in northeastern China. This locality has yielded a large number of birds, all of a single taxon, which the team named Iteravis huchzermeyeri.

The new species binomial, meaning Huchzermeyer’s journey bird in Latin, is in honor of the late South African veterinarian, Dr. Fritz Huchzermeyer, whose obituary VetScite published as its most recent Editorial. In the last two years of his life, Dr. Huchzermeyer participated in two important papers with IVPP scientists, one published in Nature (Zheng et al., 2013), the other in PlosONE (Zheng et al., 2014). Dr. Huchzermeyer provided invaluable knowledge and quickly developed a heartfelt friendship with IVPP colleagues – his indomitable spirit and expertise will be sorely missed. The team wanted to honor this erudite, peripatetic veterinary scientist with the naming of the fossile species.