Berlin: Springer, 2009. — 262 p. — ISBN 978-3-540-89627-2.
Since birds are predominantly diurnal and often quite vociferous animals, their behavior and ecological requirements are probably better studied than those of any other vertebrate group. Detailed knowledge of their evolutionary history is, however, still limited to a small circle of specialists, and there is a widespread belief that the avian fossil record is poor. This is certainly true if the abundance of bird bones is compared with that of mammalian teeth, which are robust enough to survive even rough depositional environments and collection techniques. In many fossil localities complete skeletons and postcranial elements of birds are, however, not much rarer than those of other small land vertebrates. Numerous avian fossils in collections worldwide have remained further unstudied for decades, so the significant underrepresentation of birds in vertebrate paleontology seems to be due to a low number of specialists rather than a low number of fossils. Concerning certain geological periods and geographic areas, our knowledge of the early evolutionary history of birds is anything but poor. In fact, so many new fossils were described during the past two decades that it becomes increasingly difficult for a single person to cover the whole field of paleornithology. This book gives an account of the evolution of modern birds in the first half of the Cenozoic, aiming not only at specialists in the field of paleornithology, but also at ornithologists and paleontologists in need of detailed information, either for the calibration of molecular data or to set Paleogene faunas into a full context. Given the current pace of new discoveries, I am not cherishing the illusion that this survey will remain up to date for a long time. I do hope, however, that the overall framework outlined for the early diversity and evolution of modern birds will form a stable basis for future studies, and that the readers will find the book a useful source for their own research.
Introduction Stratigraphy and Major Fossil Localities Europe Asia North America Central and South America Africa Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica Higher-Level Phylogeny of Extant Birds Mesozoic Neornithes Palaeognathous Birds Lithornithidae Palaeotididae, Remiornithidae, and Eleutherornithidae Palaeotididae Remiornithidae Eleutherornithidae Eremopezidae Rheidae (Rheas) Casuariidae (Emus and Cassowaries) Putative Ratite from the Eocene of Antarctica Galloanseres Galliformes (Landfowl) Gallinuloididae Paraortygidae Procrax, Archaealectrornis, and Palaeonossax Quercymegapodiidae Megapodiidae (Megapodes) Phasianidae (Grouse, Quails, Pheasants, and Allies) Gastornithidae Dromornithidae Anseriformes (Waterfowl) Anhimidae (Screamers) Anseranatidae (Magpie Geese) Presbyornithidae Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Swans) Pelagornithidae (Bony-Toothed Birds) Aquatic and Semiaquatic Taxa Fregatidae (Frigatebirds) and Suloidea (Gannets, Boobies, Cormorants, and Anhingas) Protoplotidae Fregatidae (Frigatebirds) Sulidae (Gannets and Boobies) Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants) and Anhingidae (Anhingas) Plotopteridae Sphenisciformes (Penguins) Gaviiformes (Loons) Procellariiformes (Tubenoses) Scopidae (Hamerkop), Balaenicipitidae (Shoebill), and Pelecanidae (Pelicans) Ardeidae (Herons) Xenerodiopidae Threskiornithidae (Ibises) Ciconiidae (Storks) Prophaethontidae and Phaethontidae (Tropicbirds) Charadriiformes (Shorebirds and Allies) Lari (Gulls, Auks, and Allies) Charadrii (Plovers and Allies) Scolopaci (Sandpipers and Allies) “Core-Gruiformes” (Rails, Cranes, and Allies) Messelornithidae and †Walbeckornis Ralloidea (Finfoots and Rails) Gruoidea (Trumpeters, Limpkins, and Cranes) Parvigruidae Geranoididae Eogruidae Aramidae (Limpkins) and Gruidae (Cranes) Phoenicopteriformes (Flamingos) and Podicipediformes (Grebes) Columbiformes (Doves and Sandgrouse), Cuculiformes (Cuckoos), and Other Neoavian Taxa of Uncertain Affinities Columbiformes (Doves and Sandgrouse) Opisthocomiformes (Hoatzin) Foratidae Musophagiformes (Turacos) Cuculiformes (Cuckoos) Pumiliornis and †Morsoravis Parvicuculidae Otididae (Bustards), Eurypygidae (Sunbittern), Rhynochetidae (Kagu), and Mesitornithidae (Mesites) “Caprimulgiformes” and Apodiformes (Nightjars and Allies, Swifts, and Hummingbirds) Fluvioviridavidae Steatornithidae (Oilbirds) Podargidae (Frogmouths) Protocypselomorphus Archaeotrogonidae Nyctibiidae (Potoos) and Caprimulgidae (Nightjars) Nyctibiidae Caprimulgidae Aegothelidae (Owlet-Nightjars) and Apodiformes (Swifts and Hummingbirds) Eocypselidae Aegialornithidae Hemiprocnidae (Tree Swifts) and Apodidae (True Swifts) Trochilidae (Hummingbirds) Cariamae (Seriemas and Allies) Phorusrhacidae Idiornithidae and Elaphrocnemus Bathornithidae Ameghinornithidae Salmilidae Gradiornis “Falconiformes” (Diurnal Birds of Prey) Falconidae (Falcons) Masillaraptor Teratornithidae and Cathartidae (New Word Vultures) Horusornithidae Sagittariidae (Secretary Birds), Pandionidae (Ospreys), and Accipitridae (Hawks and Allies) Sagittariidae Accipitridae and Pandionidae Strigiformes (Owls) Berruornis and Sophiornithidae Protostrigidae Ogygoptyngidae Necrobyinae, Palaeoglaucidae, and Selenornithinae Arboreal Birds Leptosomidae (Courols) Coliiformes (Mousebirds) Sandcoleidae Coliidae Psittaciformes (Parrots) Psittacopes and Allies Quercypsittidae Halcyornithidae (“Pseudasturidae”) Messelasturidae Zygodactylidae and Passeriformes (Passerines) Zygodactylidae Passeriformes Trogoniformes (Trogons) Bucerotes (Hornbills, Hoopoes, and Woodhoopoes) Coraciidae/Brachypteraciidae (Rollers and Ground Rollers) Primobucconidae Eocoraciidae and Geranopteridae Alcediniformes (Bee-Eaters, Kingfi shers, Todies, and Motmots) Piciformes (Jacamars, Puffbirds, Woodpeckers, and Allies) Sylphornithidae Pici Gracilitarsidae Cladornithidae Paleogene Avifaunas: Synopsis of General Aspects Continental Avifaunas of the Northern Hemisphere Biogeography Climatic Cooling and Avifaunal Turnovers Continental Avifaunas of the Southern Hemisphere Biogeography Extant Southern Hemisphere “Endemics” in the Paleogene of the Northern Hemisphere Ecological Interactions Mammalian Evolution and Terrestrial Avifaunas The Impact of Passerines on the Diversity of Paleogene Avian Insectivores Marine Avifaunas Appendix References Index
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