Mousebirds (Coliiformes), parrots (Psittaciformes), and other small birds from the late Oligocene/early Miocene of the Mainz Basin, Germany

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Abstract:

In the 19 th century already, the late Oligocene/early Miocene deposits of the Mainz Basin in Germany yielded numerous avian bones. Most of these have not been studied so far, and here I describe several fossils that belong to new or poorly known species. A humerus of a small cormorant-like bird is assigned to Borvocarbo cf. guilloti Mourer-Chauviré et al., 2004, and it is detailed that Limicorallus (?) carbunculus Mayr, 2009 is probably a junior synonym of this species. Humeri of a new species of small rail (Rallidae) are described as Rhenanorallus rhenanus n. gen. n. sp. Bones of the mousebird Necrornis cf. palustris Milne-Edwards, 1871 (Coliiformes) are fairly abundant and among the material are several proximal ends of the tarsometatarsus. The morphology of this bone, which was previously unknown for Necrornis, allows to constrain the controversial phylogenetic affinities of the taxon and supports its position outside crown group Coliiformes. A new species of a small parrot (Psittaciformes), Mogontiacopsitta miocaena n. gen. et sp., is based on an incomplete tarsometatarsus. Remains of passerines (Passeriformes) are comparatively rare, but include a proximal ulna of a large representative of the Suboscines. A fragmentary distal tarsometatarsus can be assigned to the Pici (barbets, woodpeckers, and allies) and represents the earliest Neogene record of this group of birds.

Keywords: COLIIFORMES; FOSSIL BIRDS; PASSERIFORMES; PHALACROCORACOIDEA; PICI; PSITTACIFORMES; RALLIDAE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2010/0089

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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