A heron (Aves: Ardeidae) from the Early Miocene St Bathans fauna of southern New Zealand

Richard Scofield, Trevor H. Worthy, Alan Tennyson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We describe a fossil heron, based on seven fossil bones, from the Early Miocene Bannockburn Formation at Saint Bathans, Central Otago in the south of New Zealand. Based on a phylogenetic analysis of 50 morphological characters, we determine the new heron is a member of Ardeidae but, in an analysis where we retrieve three major lineages in Ardeidae: (1) bitterns, (2) egrets and true herons, and (3) night herons, there is no support for a sister group relationship with any of these clades. We discuss aspects of the higher taxonomy of the herons based on our phylogeny.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)89-104
    Number of pages16
    JournalRecords of The Australian Museum
    Volume62
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2010

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