Fossils reveal an early Miocene presence of the aberrant gruiform Aves: Aptornithidae in New Zealand

Trevor H. Worthy, Alan Tennyson, Richard Scofield

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    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A member of the New Zealand endemic family (Aves: Aptornithidae) is described from the Early Miocene St Bathans Fauna of Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand. The new species, based on two thoracic vertebrae, is provisionally referred to the highly distinctive Late Pleistocene-Holocene extinct genus Aptornis Mantell, 1848 (in Quart J Geol Soc Lond 4:225-238, 1848). It differs from both Recent species by slightly smaller size, greater pneumaticity of the corpus vertebrae and differences of the processus spinosus and processus transversi. We refer a distal femur, another vertebral fragment, a phalange and tentatively a tibial fragment, also from the St Bathans Fauna, to this new taxon.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)669-680
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Ornithology
    Volume152
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

    Keywords

    • Aptornis
    • Aptornithidae
    • Bannockburn Formation
    • Early Miocene
    • New Zealand

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