Fossilised skeleton of Pseudastur macrocephalus, from Mayr (2002). Scale bar equals 10 mm.

Belongs within: Anomalogonatae.
Contains: Psittacidae.

The Psittaciformes include the parrots and their fossil relatives. Palaeogene stem Psittaciformes in the Pseudasturidae and Psittacopes lepidus lacked the hooked beaks of crown-group parrots (the beak of Quercypsitta is unknown), but are connected to parrots by characters of the vertebrae and leg bones (Mayr 2002, 2005). Psittacopes and Quercypsitta are supported as closer to Psittacidae than is Pseudasturidae by the presence of a furrow for the tendon of the musculus flexor perforatus digiti IV between the trochlea accessoria and the trochlea metatarsi III.

Synapomorphies (from Mayr 2002): Corpus of cranial thoracic vertebrae strongly mediolaterally compressed; proximal end of tibiotarsus with ridge along medial side, opposite to crista fibularis; distal end of tibiotarsus with proximo-distally short condyles which separated by wide incisura intercondylaris; trochlea metatarsi III much wider in mediolateral than in dorsoplantar direction, with distinct groove between rims, dorsal surface not significantly raised above dorsal surface of shaft; furrow on distal end of tarsometatarsus, between dorsal side of trochlea metatarsi IV and incisura intertrochlearis lateralis.

    |  i. s.: Bavaripsitta Mayr & Göhlich 2004 MG04
    |           `--*B. ballmanni Mayr & Göhlich 2004 MG04
    |--Pseudasturidae Ma02
    |    |--Pseudastur Mayr 1998 Ml02
    |    |    `--*P. macrocephalus Mayr 1998 Ml02
    |    |--Serudaptus Mayr 2000 Ma02, Ml02
    |    |    `--*S. pohli Mayr 2000 Ml02
    |    |--Pulchrapollia Dyke & Cooper 2000 M01
    |    |    |--P. gracilis Dyke & Cooper 2000 M01
    |    |    `--P. olsoni (Feduccia & Martin 1976) [=Primobucco olsoni] Ma02
    |    `--Precursor Harrison & Walker 1977 M05, Ml02
    |         |--*P. parvus Harrison & Walker 1977 Ml02
    |         |--P. litorum Harrison & Walker 1977 Ml02
    |         `--P. magnus Harrison & Walker 1977 Ml02
    `--+--Psittacopes Mayr & Daniels 1998 Ma02, M05
       |    `--*P. lepidus Mayr & Daniels 1998 Ml02
       |--Quercypsitta Mourer-Chauviré 1992 Ml02 [Quercypsittidae Ma02]
       |    |--*Q. sudrei Mourer-Chauviré 1992 Ml02
       |    `--Q. ivani Mourer-Chauviré 1992 Ml02
       `--Psittacidae KK05

*Type species of generic name indicated


[KK05] Kloet, R. S. de, & S. R. de Kloet. 2005. The evolution of the spindlin gene in birds: sequence analysis of an intron of the spindlin W and Z gene reveals four major divisions of the Psittaciformes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36: 706-721.

[M01] Mayr, G. 2001. Comments on the systematic position of the putative Lower Eocene parrot Pulchrapollia gracilis. Senckenbergiana Lethaea 81 (2): 339-341.

[Ma02] Mayr, G. 2002. On the osteology and phylogenetic affinities of the Pseudasturidae—Lower Eocene stem-group representatives of parrots (Aves, Psittaciformes). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 136: 715-729.

[M05] Mayr, G. 2005. The Paleogene fossil record of birds in Europe. Biological Reviews 80: 515-542.

[MG04] Mayr, G., & U. B. Göhlich. 2004. A new parrot from the Miocene of Germany, with comments on the variation of hypotarsus morphology in some Psittaciformes. Belgian Journal of Zoology 134: 476-54.

[Ml02] Mlíkovský, J. 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World. Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press: Praha.

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