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PalZ

, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 365–372 | Cite as

The last terror birds (Aves, Phorusrhacidae): new evidence from the late Pleistocene of Uruguay

  • Washington Jones
  • Andrés Rinderknecht
  • Herculano Alvarenga
  • Felipe Montenegro
  • Martín Ubilla
Research Paper

Abstract

We report new fossil evidence of terror bird survival until the end of the Pleistocene in Uruguay. The new specimens comprise the distal portion of right tarsometatarsus and a left humerus; the latter is assigned to the genus Psilopterus. The sedimentary context of the remains yields a characteristic Pleistocene mammalian association along with numerical age dating giving an undoubted late Pleistocene age (OSL 96,040 ± 6300 years). We also revise and discuss the systematic placement of late Pleistocene phorusrhacid material previously published. The trophic role of terror birds and other South American carnivorous birds in late Pleistocene ecosystems should be revised based on the increasing findings of avian fossil materials.

Keywords

Phorusrhacids Psilopterinae Late Pleistocene Uruguay 

Abbreviations

AMNH

American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, USA

BMNH

British Museum of Natural History, UK

FMNH

Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL, USA

IGMJ

Peirano collection of the Instituto de Geología y Minería de San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina

MACN

Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina

MPAB

Museo Paleontológico Alejandro Berro, Mercedes, Uruguay

MLP

Museo de La Plata, Argentina

MMP

Museo Municipal de Ciencias Naturales Lorenzo Scaglia, Mar del Plata, Argentina

MNHN

Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Montevideo, Uruguay

MPM-PV

Museo Padre Molina, Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina

MHNT

Museu de História Natural de Taubaté, Taubaté, São Paulo, Brazil

UF

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

YPM-PU

Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Heaven, CT, USA

OSL

Optically stimulated luminescence

UIC

Luminescence Dating Research Laboratory of the University of Illinois, USA

Kurzfassung

Wir berichten von neuen fossilen Beweisen für das Überleben von Terrorvögeln bis zum Ende des Pleistozäns in Uruguay. Die neuen Exemplare umfassen den distalen Teil des rechten Tarsometatarsus sowie eines linken Humerus; letzterer wird der Gattung Psilopterus zugeordnet. Der sedimentäre Kontext dieser Reste liefert eine charakteristische pleistozäne Säugetiergemeinschaft und zusammen mit numerischer Altersdatierung ein unzweifelhaft spät-pleistozänes Alter (OSL 96.040 ± 6.300 Jahre). Wir revidieren und diskutieren außerdem die systematische Stellung des bisher publizierten spät-pleistozänen Phorusrhaciden-Materials. Die trophische Rolle von Terrorvögeln und anderen südamerikanischen carnivoren Vögeln im Ökosystem des Spät-Pleistozäns sollte, basierend auf der Zunahme der Funde von Vogel-Fossilmaterial, revidiert werden.

Schlüsselwörter

Phorusrhaciden Psilopterinae Spätes Pleistozän Uruguay 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank P. Tubaro (MACN), S. Chapman (BMNH), E. France and M. Xu (YPM), S. Claramunt (AMNH), W. F. Simpson (FMNH), F. Degrange and R. I. Vezzosi for providing us with pictures of extant and fossil materials. We also thank A. Arcaud (MPAB), G. García and Municipality of Soriano for assistance during our visits to collections and on field work. We are greatly indebted to E. Lindsey for English grammar corrections. We also thank C. Mourer-Chauviré, F. Agnolin, U. Göhlich and M. Reich for reviewing and helping to improve the manuscript. W. W. J., A. R. and M. U. thank the Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación and Programa de Desarrollo de Ciencias Básicas (PEDECIBA).

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Copyright information

© Paläontologische Gesellschaft 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Washington Jones
    • 1
  • Andrés Rinderknecht
    • 1
  • Herculano Alvarenga
    • 2
  • Felipe Montenegro
    • 1
    • 3
  • Martín Ubilla
    • 3
  1. 1.Museo Nacional de Historia Natural- MontevideoMontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.Museu de História Natural de TaubatéTaubatéBrazil
  3. 3.Facultad de Ciencias-I.C.G.MontevideoUruguay

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