Paleontological Journal

, Volume 50, Issue 12, pp 1421–1433 | Cite as

Evolution of bird communities in the Neogene of Central Asia, with a review of the Neogene fossil record of Asian birds

  • N. V. Zelenkov


A complete taxonomic review of Neogene birds of continental Asia is provided. To date, avifauna from the latter half of the Miocene and Pliocene of Central Asia (Mongolia and adjacent regions of Inner Asia) are most thoroughly investigated. Available data enable a reconstruction of successive replacement of Early and Middle Miocene avifaunas by communities of the Recent type. Middle Miocene avifaunas of Mongolia include a great number of extinct genera and species, many of which were widespread in Eurasia. Extant genera became dominant in the Late Miocene and taxa close to living species appear in the Late Pliocene fossil record. Late Pliocene communities of birds of Central Asia were complex in genesis, composed of Miocene relicts (Struthio), immigrants from the European regions of the Palearctic (phasianid Plioperdix), North American immigrants (Calcarius), and also autochthonous elements, the origin of which is apparently connected with the arid belt of Central Asia (diverse passerines).


fossil birds evolution faunas Miocene Pliocene Mongolia Central Asia 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Borissiak Paleontological InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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