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Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 155, Issue 2, pp 421–426 | Cite as

The earliest European record of a Stone-curlew (Charadriiformes, Burhinidae) from the late Oligocene of France

  • Vanesa L. De Pietri
  • R. Paul Scofield
Original Article

Abstract

We describe novel material of a small fossil burhinid (Stone-curlew, thick-knee; Aves: Charadriiformes) from the late Oligocene (ca 23 Ma) of Coderet-Bransat in the Allier Basin of central France. This site is one of the renowned Saint-Gérand-le-Puy fossil localities, which have yielded thousands of fossil bird specimens. This is the first record of the Burhinidae to be described from Paleogene and Neogene deposits of Europe, and, together with the late Oligocene–early Miocene burhinid from Australia, are the earliest records worldwide. Although Genucrassum bransatensis gen. et sp. nov. differs from extant burhinids in some presumably plesiomorphic features of the humerus and carpometacarpus, we show that the postcranial elements considered here are remarkably uniform within Burhinidae even in late Oligocene taxa.

Keywords

Genucrassum bransatensis gen. et sp. nov. Coderet-Bransat Saint-Gérand-le-Puy Fossil birds Thick-knees Burhinus 

Zusammenfassung

Frühester Nachweis eines Triels (Charadriiformes, Burhinidae) in Europa aus dem spät-Oligozän Frankreichs

Wir beschreiben neues Material eines kleinen fossilen Triels (Burhinidae, Charadriiformes) aus dem späten-Oligozän (ca 23 Ma) von Coderet-Bransat im Allier Becken in Zentral-Frankreich. Diese Fossil-Lokalität gehört zu den renommierten Saint-Gérand-le-Puy-Fossilfundstellen, welche tausende von fossilen Vogelreste geliefert haben. Das neue Fossil ist der erste Nachweis von Burhinidae in paläogenen und neogenen Ablagerungen Europas, und zusammen mit einem Triel aus dem späten-Oligozän/frühen-Miozän Australiens, stellt es den weltweit frühesten Nachweis dar. Obwohl Genucrassum bransatensis gen. et sp. nov. anhand mutmasslich plesiomorphe Merkmale am Humerus und Carpometacarpus von den Rezenten Burhiniden differenziert werden kann, zeigen wir, dass die untersuchten post-cranialen Elemente bemerkenswert einheitlich innerhalb der Burhinidae sind, und dies sogar in Taxa aus dem späten Oligozän.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank L. Costeur, M. Schneider, and C. Mourer-Chauviré for their help with the material and locality, and G. Mayr for access to extant specimens and for comments on the manuscript. We are grateful to J. Nguyen for providing photographic material of Esacus magnirostris, and W.E. Boles for making the MS thesis on the Australian burhinid (Hofheins 1994, unpublished) available to us. A review by C. Mourer-Chauviré helped improve the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sektion für OrnithologieSenckenberg ForschungsinstitutFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Canterbury MuseumChristchurchNew Zealand

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