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A small Pleistocene lovebird (Psittacidae: Agapornis) from Plovers Lake, South Africa

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Abstract:

A quadrate from the external cave deposits of Plovers Lake in the Bloubank River Valley of South Africa is the first fossil bird to be described from the locality and is the youngest known lovebird fossil from southern Africa. The past presence of Agapornis in the Pleistocene of Gauteng Province, South Africa, hundreds of kilometers from the geographically closest extant lovebird individuals, likely is related to the significant climatic and environmental changes that affected the region during that period of time. This fossil appears to be from an extinct species within the crown clade of the genus and likely indicates the past presence of wooded conditions near the cave when the sediments were deposited approximately 1 million years ago.

Keywords: AGAPORNIS; AVES; LOVEBIRD; PARROT; PLEISTOCENE; SOUTH AFRICA

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2010/0038

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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