Paläontologische Zeitschrift

, Volume 86, Issue 1, pp 85–89 | Cite as

A carpometacarpus from the upper cretaceous of patagonia sheds light on the Ornithurine bird radiation

  • Federico L. Agnolin
  • Fernando E. Novas
Research Paper


We report the discovery of an isolated avian carpometacarpus from the Upper Cretaceous Allen Formation (Campanian-Maastrichtian), Salitral Moreno, Río Negro Province, Argentina. This specimen is referred to cf. Neornithes because it presents a distinct but shallow infratrochlear fossa, a shortened ventral rim of the carpal trochlea that does not contact the base of the extensor process, and an extensor process conspicuously surpassing cranially the articular facet for digit I. The isolated nature of the specimen precludes its inclusion within the main neornithine lineages. Although it may represent part of the crown clade Neornithes, the limited data available do not confidently support placement within any particular lineage. The carpometacarpus constitutes one of the few records of Mesozoic Neornithine-like birds for South America.


Neornithes Late Cretaceous Argentina 


Der Neufund eines Vogel-Carpometacarpus aus der oberkretazischen Allen-Formation (Campan-Maastricht) von Salitral Moreno, Provinz Río Negro, Argentinien, wird beschrieben. Das Exemplar wird zu den cf. Neornithes gestellt, da es eine klar definierte Fossa infratrochleare, einen kurzen ventralen Rand der Trochlea carpale, der nicht mit dem Extensor-Fortsatz im Kontakt steht, sowie einen Extensor-Fortsatz, der die Gelenkfacette des 1. Fingers deutlich in cranialer Richtung überragt, aufweist. Aufgrund des isolierten Vorkommens des Restes lässt er sich nicht in eine der Hauptentwicklungslinien dieser Gruppe einordnen. Obwohl er somit ein Taxon auf der Stammlinie der Neornithes repräsentieren könnte, lassen die sehr beschränkten Daten keine klare Einordnung zu. Dieser Carpometacarpus repräsentiert einen der wenigen Nachweise von Neornithes aus der Kreide Südamerikas.


Neornithes Oberkretazischen Argentinien 



We thank Pablo Tubaro and Jorge Navas (Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, Buenos Aires, Argentina) for allowing us to study comparative material under their care. We are deeply indebted to Daniel Cabaza (MML) for allowing us to study the present specimen. We thank M. Ezcurra and D.F. Pais for the critical reading of the manuscript, and Fabián Tricárico for the MEB images. Finally, we also thank J. Clarke and an anonymous reviewer who made very useful comments on the manuscript, and W. Volkheimer for his translation of the German abstract.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Anatomía Comparada y Evolución de los VertebradosMuseo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Fundación de Historia Natural “Félix de Azara,” Departamento de Ciencias Naturales y Antropología, CEBBADUniversidad MaimónidesBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Concejo Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina

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