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Ducks, rails, and limicoline waders (Aves: Anseriformes, Gruiformes, Charadriiformes) from the lowermost Oligocene of Belgium
Mayr, G.; Smith, R. (2001). Ducks, rails, and limicoline waders (Aves: Anseriformes, Gruiformes, Charadriiformes) from the lowermost Oligocene of Belgium. Géobios 34(5): 547-561.
In: Géobios. Association Européenne de Paléontologie: Lyon. ISSN 0016-6995, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279542 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    fossil birds; lowermost Oligocene; Belgium; Boutersemia nov gen.;Belgirallus nov gen.

Authors  Top 
  • Mayr, G.
  • Smith, R.

    A diverse avifauna is described from the lowermost Oligocene (MP 21) of the locality Boutersem near Bruxelles, Belgium. Remains of at least 13 avian taxa were distinguished and many are represented by more than one skeletal element. Coracoids of two anseriform taxa were identified, one of these is tentatively assigned to Paracygnopterus HARRISON & WALKER, 1979, the other is tentatively referred to Romainvillia LEBEDINSKY, 1927. Other anseriform bones are described but could not be assigned to one of the coracoids. The specimen referred to Paracygnopterus is the earliest certain record of the Anatidae and confirms the presence of this family in the lowermost Oligocene of Western Europe. Charadriiform birds are represented by at least four different species. Two of these are assigned to the new genus Boutersemia (Boutersemia belgica nov. Ben. nov. sp., Boutersemia parvula nov. Ben. nov sp.). The genus Boutersemia is characterized by a large foramen vasculare distale on the tarsometatarsus and is tentatively assigned to the Glareolidae. Three species of rails (Gruiformes, Rallidae) were identified, two of which are classified in the new genus Belgirallus (Belgirallus olagocaenus nov. Ben. nov sp., Belgirallus minutus nov. Ben. nov sp.). The species of the genus Belgirallus are among the earliest substantial record of fossil Rallidae, and Belgirallus minutus is the smallest early Tertiary rail known so far. A fragmentary distal end of a tarsometatarsus has been assigned to the Pici and represents the earliest fossil record of this taxon. A distal end of an upper beak resembles that of recent Scolopacidae and Rostratulidae (Charadriiformes), but is much larger. Fragmentary tarso-metatarsi of two large avian taxa probably belong to the Idiornithidae (Gruiformes) and Phoenicopteriformes.

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