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Paläontologische Zeitschrift

, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 105–112 | Cite as

The first Cenozoic fossil bird from Venezuela

  • Stig WalshEmail author
  • Rodolfo Sänchez
Article

Abstract

The first Cenozoic avian remains from Venezuela are described. The material comprises an associated right tarsometatarsus and tibiotarsus from the earliest Pliocene of the Codore Formation, northwestern Venezuela. The fossil-bearing horizon represents a deltaic paleoenvironment. The elements are long and narrow, and the presence of a circular incisura intercondylaris bordered proximally by a prominent and centrally-situated tuberculum m. tibialis anticus on the tibiotarsus, allows confident referral to the Ciconiidae (storks). The elements are a close match in morphology and size to the extantJabiru mycteria (Jabiru Stork), although the presence on the distal tibiotarsus of a well-defined caudal sulcus, a narrower sulcus extensorius and shallower angled pons supratendineus, and on the tarsometatarsus of a narrower and deeper sulcus on the plantar surface and a less prominent ridge laterally bordering the fossa supratrochlearis plantaris indicate that this is a new species,Jabiru codorensis n. sp.Jabiru mycteria, the only living species, still occurs in Venezuela, where it is found mostly in grassy wetlands. These specimens represent the first fossil record ofJabiru, as well as the first pre-Pleistocene record of fossil birds from Venezuela.

Keywords

Stork Jabiru Venezuela Codore Formation Pliocene 

Kurzfassung

Die ersten fossilen Nachweise von Vögeln aus dem Tertiär Venezuelas werden beschrieben. Bei dem Material handelt es sich um einen assoziierten rechten Tarsometatarsus und Tibiotarsus aus der unterpliozänen Codore-Formation, nordwestliches Venezuela. Die fossilführenden Horizonte entsprechen einem deltaischen Paläoenvironment. Die Fossilelemente sind lang und dünn. Das Vorhandensein einer kreisförmigen Incisura intercondylaris, an welche proximal ein prominenter, zentraler Tuberculum m. tibialis anticus auf dem Tibiotarsus grenzt, ermöglicht eine zuverlässige Einordnung dieser Fossilien in die Ciconiidae (Störche). Die Elemente sind morphologisch und in ihrer Größe der lebenden ArtJabiru mycteria (Jabiru-Storch) sehr ähnlich, obwohl das Vorhandensein eines klar abgegrenzten kaudalen Sulcus am distalen Tibiotarsus, eines schmaleren Sulcus extensorius und flacheren abgewinkelten Pons supratendineus des Tibiotarsus, sowie eines schmaleren und tieferen Sulcus auf der plantaren Oberfläche des Tarsometatarsus und einer weniger prominent ausgebildeten Kante, welche lateral die Fossa supratrochlearis plantaris begrenzt, am Tarsometatarsus auf eine neue Art,Jabiru codorensis n. sp., hindeuten.Jabiru mycteria, die einzige lebende Art der Gattung, kommt heute noch in Venezuela vor, wo sie hauptsächlich in grasbewachsenen Feuchtgebieten zu finden ist. Die hier beschriebenen Fossilien sind sowohl die ersten fossilen Nachweise vonJabiru als auch die ersten präpleistozänen Nachweise fossiler Vögel aus Venezuela.

Schlüsselwörter

Storch Jabiru Venezuela Codore-Formation Pliozän 

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Copyright information

© E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PalaeontologyThe Natural History MuseumLondonUK
  2. 2.Rodolfo Sánchez, Museo Paleontolögico de la Alcaldia de UrumacoFalconVenezuela

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