Thursday, May 29, 2014

[PaleoOrnithology • 1999] Pumiliornis tessellatus • A New Enigmatic Bird from the Middle Eocene of Grube Messel (Hessen, Germany)



Abstract
Pumiliornis tessellatus n. gen. n. sp. is described from the Middle Eocene of Grube Messel (Hessen, Germany). This bird combines gruiform and charadriiform characters with a columbiform foot and therefore resembles Rhynchaeites messelensis WITTICH, a species also found in Messel. Pumiliornis tessellatus can be clearly distinguished from all extant taxa, but it has not been possible to ascertain whether the similarities it shares with Rhynchaeites messelensis are synapomorphic, symplesiomorphic or convergent.
Keywords: Messel, Eocene, birds, Rhynchaeites messelensis

Etymology: pumilio (Lat.): dwarf, ornis (Gr.): bird. | tessellatus (Lat.): mosaic  because of the mosaic distribution of characters typical for different higher avian taxa.


Gerald MAYR. 1999. Pumiliornis tessellatus n. gen. n. sp., A New Enigmatic Bird from the Middle Eocene of Grube Messel (Hessen, Germany). Cour. Forsch.-Inst. Senckenberg. 216:75-83.

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