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A dwarf species of the Phalacrocoracoidea (cormorants and anhingas) from the early Miocene of Germany

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A tarsometatarsus of a diminutive representative of the Phalacrocoracoidea, the clade including the Phalacrocoracidae (cormorants) and Anhingidae (anhingas), is described from the early Miocene of Germany. The fossil is assigned to a new species Limicorallus (?) carbunculus, and closely resembles the tarsometatarsus of extant Phalacrocoracidae in overall morphology. Limicorallus (?) carbunculus is the smallest representative of the Phalacrocoracoidea, reaching only two-thirds the size of the extant Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus. By significantly lowering the minimum size of the Phalacrocoracoidea, this new species adds to our knowledge of the early diversity of this clade.
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Keywords: Limicorallus; Mainz-Weisenau; evolution; fossil birds; paleontology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-04-01

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