Pelagornithidae

Reconstruction of Osteodontornis orri, by Jaime Chirinos.


Belongs within: Procellariiformes.

The Pelagornithidae, false-toothed birds, were a lineage of large to gigantic (wingspans in excess of five metres) marine birds found from the late Palaeocene to the latest Pliocene. The vernacular name of the group refers to the distinctive presence of hollow bony projections along the edges of the bill.

Characters (from Mayr 2011): Pseudoteeth present; external narial openings greatly reduced or absent; mandible of adult birds with synovial intraramal joint between os spleniale and os angulare formed by internal ossification associated with Meckel’s cartilage; mandible without ossified symphysis mandibulae, with marked neurovascular furrow along lateral surfaces; extremitas sternalis of coracoid with processus lateralis greatly elongated; humerus with crista deltopectoralis not cranially deflected.

<==Pelagornithidae [Cyphornithidae, Dasornithidae, Odontopterygiformes, Pseudodontornithidae]
    |--Osteodontornis orri FP64
    |--Palaeochenoides miocaenus FP64
    |--Pelagornis Lartet 1857 M02
    |    `--*P. miocaenus Lartet 1857 [incl. P. delfortrii Lambrecht 1933 (n. n.)] M02
    |--Cyphornis Cope 1894 M02
    |    `--C. magnus FP64
    |--Dasornis Owen 1870 M02
    |    `--*D. londinensis Owen 1870 [=D. londiniensis] M02
    |--Macrodontopteryx Harrison & Walker 1976 M02
    |    `--*M. oweni Harrison & Walker 1976 M02
    |--Odontopteryx Owen 1873 [Odontopterygidae] M02
    |    |--*O. toliapica Owen 1873 M02
    |    `--O. tschulensis Aver’janov et al. 1991 M02
    |--Neptuniavis Harrison & Walker 1977 MPR02
    |    |--*N. miranda Harrison & Walker 1977 M02
    |    `--N. minor Harrison & Walker 1977 M02
    |--Argillornis Owen 1878 [incl. Megalornis Seeley 1866 nec Gray 1841 nec Owen 1843] M02
    |    |--*A. longipennis Owen 1878 M02
    |    `--A. emuinus (Bowerbank 1854) [=Lithornis emuinus, *Megalornis emuianus] M02
    `--Pseudodontornis Lambrecht 1930 M02 [incl. Neodontornis Harrison & Walker 1976 WH02]
         |--*P. longirostris (Spulski 1910) [=Odontopteryx longirostris] M02
         |--P. longidentata Harrison & Walker 1976 M02
         `--P. stirtoni Howard & Warter 1969 GM91 [=Neodontornis stirtoni WH02]

*Type species of generic name indicated

REFERENCES

[FP64] Fisher, J., & R. T. Peterson. 1964. The World of Birds: A comprehensive guide to general ornithology. Macdonald: London.

[GM91] Gill, B., & P. Martinson. 1991. New Zealand’s Extinct Birds. Random Century: Auckland (New Zealand).

Mayr, G. 2011. Cenozoic mystery birds—on the phylogenetic affinities of bony-toothed birds (Pelagornithidae). Zoologica Scripta 40: 448-467.

[MPR02] Mayr, G., D. S. Peters & S. Rietschel. 2002. Petrel-like birds with a peculiar foot morphology from the Oligocene of Germany and Belgium (Aves: Procellariiformes). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22 (3): 667-676.

[M02] Mlíkovský, J. 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World. Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press: Praha.

[WH02] Worthy, T. H., & R. N. Holdaway. 2002. The Lost World of the Moa: Prehistoric life of New Zealand. Indiana University Press: Bloomington (Indiana).

1 comment:

  1. Always one of my favorite prehistoric birds. Nothing really like them today including sailbirds. I think the older, extinct birds were much more interesting. The artwork is well done and the bird has similar coloring to other illustrations of this grand, extinct bird. Wish I could see one in the flesh!

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