Phylogenetic affinities and morphology of the late Eocene anseriform bird Romainvillia stehlini Lebedinsky, 1927
For the first time since its original description, the late Eocene anseriform bird Romainvillia stehlini Lebedinsky, 1927 is restudied and comparisons with other Paleogene Anseriformes are made. A lectotype is designated and the previously unknown humerus described. In contrast to recent hypotheses that R. stehlini is a member of Anseranatidae (magpie geese), the species can be unambiguously identified as a stem group representative of the Anatidae (swans, geese, and ducks). R. stehlini is clearly distinguished from the early Eocene anseranatid Anatalavis oxfordi Olson, 1999 in all known skeletal elements, and a phylogenetic analysis supports a clade (Presbyornithidae + (Romainvillia + Anatidae)). In combining Presbyornis-like wing bones with a duck-like coracoid and tarsometatarsus, R. stehlini represents a morphological link between the highly aberrant long-legged Presbyornithidae and crown group Anatidae.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-06-01
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