Senckenbergiana lethaea

, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 59–65 | Cite as

A new raptor-like bird from the Lower Eocene of North America and Europe

  • Gerald Mayr


Tynskya eocaena n. gen. n. sp. is described from Lower Eocene deposits of the Green River Formation (Wyoming, USA). The species is characterized by a distinctive morphology of the tarsometatarsus. AlthoughTynskya eocaena resembles the Lower and Middle Eocene PseudasturidaeMayr 1998 and some recent strigiform and falconiform birds in several aspects, it has not been possible to find derived characters which convincingly support a classification of this species into one of the known higher avian taxa. Birds closely related toTynskya eocaena have also been found in the Lower Eocene London Clay of Walton-on-the-Naze (Essex, England) and give a further example of the great similarity between the early Eocene avifauna of North America and Europe.

Key words

Aves raptor-like bird Tynskya eocaena Lower Eocene Tertiary Green River Formation Wyoming 

Ein neuer raubvogelähnlicher Vogel aus dem unteren Eozän von Nordamerika und Europa


Tynskya eocaena n. gen. n. sp. wird aus untereozänen Ablagerungen der Green River Formation (Wyoming, USA) beschrieben. Die Art ist durch einen kennzeichnenden Bau des Tarsometatarsus charakterisiert. ObwohlTynskya eocaena den unter- und mitteleozänen PseudasturidaeMayr 1998 und einigen rezenten strigiformen und falconiformen Vögeln hinsichtlich verschiedener Merkmale ähnelt, konnten keine abgeleiteten Merkmale gefunden werden, die eine Klassifikation dieser Art in eines der bekannten höheren Vogel-Taxa überzeugend unterstützen. MitTynskya eocaena nahe verwandte Vögel wurden auch im unterem Eozän des London Clay von Walton-on-the-Naze (Essex, England) gefunden und geben ein weiteres Beispiel für die große Übereinstimmung zwischen der frühtertiären Avifauna von Nordamerika und Europa.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baumel, J. J. &Witmer, L. M. (1993): Osteologia. — In: J. J.Baumel, A. S.King, J. E.Breazile, H. E.Evans & J. C.Vanden Berge [Eds], Handbook of avian anatomy: Nomina Anatomica Avium. — Publications of the Nuttall Ornithological Club,23: 45–132, 18 text-figs; Cambridge/Mass.Google Scholar
  2. Cracraft, J. (1981): Toward a phylogenetic classification of the recent birds of the world (Class Aves). — Auk,98: 681–714; Washington/D.C.Google Scholar
  3. Cracraft, J. (1988): The major clades of birds. — In:M. J. Benton [Ed.], The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods, Vol. 1: Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds: 339–361, 1 text-fig.; Oxford (Clarendon Press).Google Scholar
  4. Feduccia, A. (1996): The Origin and Evolution of birds. — 1–420, many text-figs and tabs; New Haven, London (Yale University Press).Google Scholar
  5. Harrison, C. J. O. (1982): A new tiny raptor from the Lower Eocene of England. — Ardea,70: 77–80, 2 text-figs; Leiden.Google Scholar
  6. Harrison, C. J. O. (1984): Further additions to the fossil birds of Sheppey: A new Falconid and three small Rails. — Tertiary Research,5 (4): 179–187, 4 text-figs; Leiden.Google Scholar
  7. Harrison, C. J. O. &Walker, C. A. (1979): Birds of the British Middle Eocene. — Tertiary Research, Special Paper,5: 19–27, 1 pl.; Rotterdam.Google Scholar
  8. Houde, P. (1988): Palaeognathous birds from the early Tertiary of the Northern Hemisphere. — Publications of the Nuttall Ornithological Club,22: 1–148, 41 text-figs, 27 tabs; Cambridge/Mass.Google Scholar
  9. Martin, L. D. &Black, C. C. (1972): A New Owl from the Eocene of Wyoming. — Auk,89 (4): 887–888, 1 text-fig.; Washington/D.C.Google Scholar
  10. Mayr, G. (1998): A new family of Eocene zygodactyl birds. — Senckenbergiana lethaea,78 (1/2): 199–209, 12 text-figs, 3 tabs; Frankfurt am Main.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mayr, G. &Peters, D. S. (1998): The mousebirds (Aves: Coliiformes) from the Middle Eocene of Grube Messel (Hessen, Germany). — Senckenbergiana lethaea,78 (1/2): 179–197, 5 text-figs, 9 tabs, 4 pls; Frankfurt am Main.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mourer-Chauviré, C. (1994): A large owl from the Palaeocene of France. — Palaeontology,37 (2): 339–348, 2 text-figs, 2 tabs, 1 pl.; London.Google Scholar
  13. Rich, P. V. &Bohaska, D. J. (1976): The World’s Oldest Owl: A New Strigiform from the Paleocene of Southwestern Colorado. — Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology,27: 87–93, 3 text-figs, 1 pl.; Washington/D.C.Google Scholar
  14. Steinbacher, G. (1935): Funktionell-anatomische Untersuchungen an Vogelfüßen mit Wendezehen und Rückzehen. — Journal of Ornithology,83 (2): 214–282, 33 text-figs; Berlin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Stephan, B. (1992): Vorkommen und Ausbildung der Fingerkrallen bei rezenten Vögeln. — Journal of Ornithology,133 (3): 251–277, 1 text-fig., 12 tabs; Berlin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Wetmore, A. (1938): Another Fossil Owl from the Eocene of Wyoming. — Proceedings of the United States National Museum,85 (3031): 27–29, 2 text-figs; Washington/D.C.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Mayr
    • 1
  1. 1.Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Sektion OrnithologieFrankfurt am MainGermany

Personalised recommendations