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Review of the putative Phorusrhacidae from the Cretaceous and Paleogene of Antarctica: new records of ratites and pelagornithid birds

1 Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de La Pampa, Uruguay 151, 6300 Santa Rosa, La Pampa, Argentina

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Citation Information: Polish Polar Research. Volume 33, Issue 3, Pages 239–258, ISSN (Online) 2081-8262, ISSN (Print) 0138-0338, DOI: 10.2478/v10183-012-0014-3, October 2012

Publication History:
Received:
2012-04-18
Accepted:
2012-08-07
Published Online:
2012-10-31

Abstract

: Remains referred to Phorusrhacidae from the Cretaceous and Paleogene of the Antarctic Peninsula, and mainly known through informal and succinct descriptions, are re− assigned here to other bird lineages recorded in the Antarctic continent. New records of ratites, pelagornithid birds, and penguins are added to the Upper Eocene avifauna of Sey− mour Island. Moreover, the original allocation for an alleged cursorial seriema−like bird from the Maastrichtian of Vega Island is refuted, and its affinities with foot−propelled div− ing birds are indicated. The indeterminate Pelagornithidae specimen represents the largest pseudo−toothed bird known so far. It is concluded that there is no empirical evidence for the presence of terror birds in Antarctica.

Keywords: Antarctica; fossil birds; Cretaceous; Eocene.

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