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RE: Bibliography on Aepyornis
From: Marco Auditore <email@example.com>
Hi to all
I need the references for the papers (overall with osteology and anatomical
description) of all species of Aepyornis, the "Elephant bird" of
Madagascar, and of the possible aepyornithid Eremopezus, Mullerornis and
Stromeria (and eventually other members of the family that I don't know)
There is someone that can help me?
Thanks in advance
A nice list of known Mullerornis and Aepyornis fossils and their references
Most papers that I know of look just at Aepyornis Maximus, the only
completely known skeleton, and compare it to the other ratites. A good
Cracraft, Carl. 1973. Phylogeny and Evolution of the Ratite Birds. IBIS
Which gives Aepyornis a good look.
Stromaria and Eremopezus are a bit more complicated. Stromaria, previously
known from a tarsometarsus from the Oligocene of Egypt, and Eremopezus, a
fragment, combined with Aepyornithoid eggshell, have been called
elephantbirds. However, according to:
Rasmussen, D.T., E. L. Simons, F. Hertel and A. Judd, 2001. Hindlimb of a
Giant Terrestrial Bird From The Upper Eocene, Fayum, Egypt. Palaeontology,
Vol 44, Part 2, 2001, pp. 325-337
A new find of non-didactylous leg bones in Fayum, Egypt has revealed that
the bones of both Stromeria and those of Eremopezus actually belong to the
same bird, and that both are actually Late Eocene in age. They conclude that
this bird, which they now dub Eremopezus eocaenus alone, may not even be a
ratite. However, this conclusion appears to be based solely on their
interpretation of how these fossil legs fit into their picture of a walking
distribution of ratites. They, for example, do not consider the possibility
that an Aepyornithoid may have swam to Madagascar in the Mid-Tertiary, which
I find plausible.
While no extant African or Asia birds lay eggs of an Aepyornithoid pour
pattern, the quantity of eggshell sites containing struthious bones
(Mourer-Chauvire et al 1996), and both stuthious and aepyornithoid eggshells
in both southern Africa and southern Asia is striking. It almost appears as
if the Aepyornithoid eggshell became the Ostrich eggshell! Logically, a
proto- (pre-didactylous: tri- or tetradactylous) flightless Ostrich ancestor
must have been present in Asia as well as Africa. In order to have become
didactylous, it must have done a lot of running. Therefore, although the
Eremopezus fossils consist of insufficient material to be conclusive, save
that they are legs of a large non-didactylous bird, they could yet someday
prove to be closely related to elephantbirds.
What are you working on? If I knew, I may be able to recommend a few
references. Even if a study of Aepyornis relationships, I would love to read
or see anything that I have not. Perhaps Chip, a fellow Vorompatra
enthusiast, or Paleontologist John Harshman may know of something.
P.S. I know, ratite fans, maybe Aepyornis? flew to Egypt and Madagascar in
the form of a Lithorn. However, no Southern Hemisphere Lithorns, or late
enough Tertiary Lithorns are yet known.
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