Paleontology

1979 Edition

Aves

  • Hildegarde Howard
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/3-540-31078-9_13

Approximately 985 extinct species of birds (Class Aves) have been described from all fossil deposits in the world. A nearly equal number of still-existing species is found in the geologic record. Their combined total, however, is less than one-fourth the number of avian species living in the world today. Since the record of birds spans a period of nearly 140 m yr, it is obvious that there is still much to learn about the birds of the past.

The fragility of avian material complicates the problem of fossil preservation in this group. Fossil egg shells, footprints, and imprints of feathers are recorded but contribute little toward classification of the birds responsible for them. Identification of fossil avian species is based largely on skeletal fragments, particularly limb bones.

The study of fossil birds, therefore, depends upon a detailed knowledge of the separate skeletal elements of the various orders, families, and genera of living birds. Although ornithologists have recognized the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Brodkorb, P., 1963. Catalogue of fossil birds: Part 1, Archaeopterigiformes through Ardeiformes, Bull. Florida State Mus. Biol. Sci., 7, 179–293.Google Scholar
  2. Brodkorb, P., 1964. Catalogue of fossil birds: Part 2, Anseriformes through Galliformes, Bull. Florida State Mus. Biol. Sci., 8, 195–335.Google Scholar
  3. Brodkorb, P., 1967. Catalogue of fossil birds: Part 3, Ralliformes, Ichthyornithiformes, Charadriiformes, Bull. Florida State Mus. Biol. Sci., 11, 99–220.Google Scholar
  4. Brodkorb, P., 1971a. Catalogue of fossil birds: Part 4, Columbiformes through Piciformes, Bull. Florida State Mus. Biol. Sci., 15, 163–266.Google Scholar
  5. Brodkorb, P., 1971b. Origin and evolution of birds, in Farner and King, 1971, vol. 1, 19–55.Google Scholar
  6. Brodkorb, P., 1978. Catalogue of fossil birds (Passeriformes), Bull. Florida State Mus., 23, 139–228.Google Scholar
  7. Cracraft, J., 1971. Caenagnathiformes: Cretaceous birds convergent in jaw mechanism to dicynodont reptiles, J. Paleontology, 45, 805–809.Google Scholar
  8. Cracraft, J., and Rich, P. V., 1972. The systematics and evolution of the Cathartidae in the Old World Tertiary, Condor, 74, 272–283.Google Scholar
  9. de Beer, G., 1954. Archaeopteryx lithographica. London: British Mus. (Nat. Hist.), 68p.Google Scholar
  10. Elzanowski, A., 1974. Results of the Polish-Mongolian palaeontological expeditions: Part V, Preliminary note on the palaeognathous bird from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia, Palaeontol. Polonica, 30, 103–109.Google Scholar
  11. Farner, D. S., and King, J. R., eds., 1971. Avian Biology. New York: Academic Press, 586p.Google Scholar
  12. Fisher, J., 1967a. Fossil birds and their adaptive radiation, in Harland et al., 1967, 133–154.Google Scholar
  13. Fisher, J., 1967b. Aves, in Harland et al., 1967, 733–762.Google Scholar
  14. George, J. C., and Berger, A. J., 1966. Avian Myology. New York: Academic Press, 500p.Google Scholar
  15. Gingerich, P. D., 1972. A new partial mandible Ichthyornis, Condor, 74, 471–473.Google Scholar
  16. Gregory, J. T., 1952. The jaws of the Cretaceous toothed birds, Ichthyornis and Hesperornis, Condor, 54, 73–88.Google Scholar
  17. Harland, W. B., et al., eds., 1967. The Fossil Record. London: Geol. Soc. London, 827p.Google Scholar
  18. Harrison, C. J., and Walker, C. A., 1975. The Bradycnemidae, a new family of owls from the Upper Cretaceous of Romania, Palaeontology, 18, 563–570.Google Scholar
  19. Heilmann, G., 1927. The Origin of Birds. New York: Appleton, 210p.Google Scholar
  20. Howard, H., 1957. A gigantic “toothed” marine bird from the Miocene of California, Santa Barbara Mus. Nat. Hist. Geol. Bull., 1, 1–23.Google Scholar
  21. Howard, H., 1962. A comparison of avian assemblages from individual pits at Rancho La Brea, California, Los Angeles Co. Mus. Contrib. Sci., 58, 1–24.Google Scholar
  22. Howard, H., 1973. Fossil Anseriformes, in J. Delacour, ed., Waterfowl of the World, Vol 4. London: Country Life, 233–326, 371–378.Google Scholar
  23. Jensen, J. A., 1969. Fossil eggs from Utah and a concept of surviving feathered reptiles, Utah Acad. Proc., 46, 125–133.Google Scholar
  24. Kuhn, O., 1971. Die vorzeitlichen Vögel, Neues Brehm-Bücherei, 435, 72p.Google Scholar
  25. Kurotchkin, E. N., 1971. Basic questions in the study of fossil birds (in Russian). Zoologia pozvonochnykh voprosy ornitologii. Itogi Nauki VINITI T-11795, 116–151.Google Scholar
  26. Lambrecht, K., 1933. Handbuch der Palaeornithologie. Berlin: Gebrüder Borntraeger, 1024p.Google Scholar
  27. Lowe, P. R., 1935. On the relationship of the Struthiones to the dinosaurs and the rest of the avian class with especial reference to the position of Archaeopteryx, Ibis, 1935, 398–432.Google Scholar
  28. Marples, B. J., 1952. Early Tertiary penguins of New Zealand, New Zealand Geol. Surv., Paleontol. Bull., 20, 1–66.Google Scholar
  29. Marsh, O. C., 1880. Odontornithes: A monograph of the extinct toothed birds of North America, Rept. Geol. Explor. 40th Parallel, 7, 201p.Google Scholar
  30. Matthew, W. D., and Granger, W., 1917. The skeleton of Diatryma, Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. Bull., 37, 307–326.Google Scholar
  31. Meyer, H. Von., 1861. Archaeopteryx lithographica (Vogel-Feder) und Pterodactylus von Solenhofen, Neues Jahrb. Mineral., Geol. Palaeontol., 1861, 678–679.Google Scholar
  32. Miller, L., 1925a. The birds of Rancho La Brea, Carnegie Inst. Washington Publ., 349, 63–106.Google Scholar
  33. Miller, L., 1925b. Avian remains from the Miocene of Lompoc, California, Carnegie Inst. Washington Publ., 349, 107–117.Google Scholar
  34. Miller, L., and Howard, H., 1949. The flightless Pliocene bird Mancalla, Carnegie Inst. Washington Publ., 584, 201–228.Google Scholar
  35. Milne-Edwards, A., 1867-1871. Recherches Anatomiques et Paléontologiques pour Servir à l'Histoire des Oiseaux Fossiles de la France, 2 vols. and atlas. Paris: Masson, 474p., 632p.Google Scholar
  36. Oliver, W. R. B., 1955. New Zealand Birds, 2nd ed. Wellington: H. H. and A. W. Rand, 661p.Google Scholar
  37. Olson, S. L., ed., 1976. Collected papers in avian paleontology honoring the ninetieth birthday of Alexander Wetmore, Smithsonian Contrib. Paleobiol., 27, 211p.Google Scholar
  38. Ostrom, J. H., 1970. Archaeopteryx: Notice of a “new” specimen, Science, 170, 537–538.Google Scholar
  39. Ostrom, J. H., 1976. Archaeopteryx and the origin of birds, Biol. J. Linnean Soc., 8, 91–182.Google Scholar
  40. Rich, P. V., 1974. Significance of the Tertiary avifaunas from Africa (with emphasis on the Mid to Late Miocene avifauna from southern Tunisia), Ann. Geol. Surv. Egypt, 4, 167–210.Google Scholar
  41. Rich, P. V., 1976. The history of birds on the island continent Australia, Proc. 16th International Ornithological Congress, 1974, 53–65.Google Scholar
  42. Simpson, G. G., 1946. Fossil penguins, Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 87, 1–100.Google Scholar
  43. Sternberg, R. M., 1940. A toothless bird from the Cretaceous of Alberta, J. Paleontology, 14, 81–85.Google Scholar
  44. Storer, R. W., 1956. The fossil loon Colymboides minutus, Condor, 58, 413–426.Google Scholar
  45. Storer, R. W., 1971. Classification of birds, in Farner and King, 1971, vol. 1. 1–18.Google Scholar
  46. Swinton, W. E., 1958. Fossil Birds. London: British Mus. (Nat. Hist.), 63p.Google Scholar
  47. Walker, M. V., 1967. Revival of interest in the toothed birds of Kansas, Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci., 70, 60–66.Google Scholar
  48. Wetmore, A., 1960. A classification for the birds of the world, Smithsonian Misc. Collect., 139(11), 1–37.Google Scholar

Cross-references

Copyright information

© Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross, Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hildegarde Howard

There are no affiliations available