Paleontological Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 11, pp 1302–1307 | Cite as

The giant bird Gastornis in Asia: A revision of Zhongyuanus xichuanensis Hou, 1980, from the Early Eocene of China

  • E. BuffetautEmail author


The type specimen of the gastornithid Zhongyuanus xichuanensis Hou, 1980, from the Early Eocene of Henan (central China) is redescribed and compared with European and North American representatives of Gastornis. Differences between the Chinese specimen (the distal end of tibiotarsus) and its European and North American counterparts are of a minor nature, and it is concluded that it can be referred to as Gastornis xichuanensis (Hou, 1980). Stratigraphic evidence suggests that Gastornis originated in Europe, where it is known as early as the Paleocene. Whether the Asian Gastornis dispersed from North America via the Bering land bridge, or directly from Europe across the Turgai Strait, remains uncertain.


Aves Gastornis Zhongyuanus Early Eocene Henan China palaeobiogeography 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRS, UMR 8538Laboratoire de Géologie de l’Ecole Normale SupérieureParis Cedex 05France

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