The unexpected survival of an ancient lineage of anseriformbirds into the Neogene of Australia
Pietri, Vanesa L. De
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Presbyornithids were the dominant birds in Palaeogene lacustrine assemblages, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, but are thought to have disappeared worldwide by the mid-Eocene. Now classified within Anseriformes (screamers, ducks, swans and geese), their relationships have long been obscured by their strange wader-like skeletal morphology. Reassessment of the late Oligocene South Australian material attributed to Wilaru tedfordi, long considered to be of a stone-curlew (Burhinidae, Charadriiformes), reveals that this taxon represents the first record of a presbyornithid in Australia.
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