New Skeleton from the Early Oligocene of Germany Indicates a Stem-Group Position of Diomedeoidid Birds

Vanesa De Pietri, Jean-Pierre Berger, Claudius Pirkenseer, Laureline Scherler, Gerald Mayr

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    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We report a new specimen of the extinct procellariiform species Diomedeoides brodkorbi (Aves, Diomedeoididae) from the early Oligocene (Rupelian) of Rheinweiler in southwestern Germany. The well-preserved partial skeleton allows the recognition and reassessment of new osteological details that bear on the phylogenetic affinities of diomedeoidids. The presence on the coracoid of a deeply excavated, cup-like facies articularis for the scapula suggests a stem group position of the Diomedeoididae within Procellariiformes, because this trait also occurs in stem-group representatives of several avian groups, as well as in Mesozoic non-neornithine birds, and is a plesiomorphic character. We hypothesize that the similarities of Diomedeoides to extant southern storm-petrels (Oceanitinae), such as the long mandibular symphysis, the small processus supracondylaris dorsalis and the long legs are plesiomorphic for Procellariiformes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-34
    Number of pages12
    JournalActa Palaeontologica Polonica
    Volume55
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

    Keywords

    • Aves
    • Diomedeoididae
    • Germany
    • Oligocene
    • Phylogeny
    • Rupelian
    • Stem-group
    • Upper rhine graben

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