[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
RE: Bibliography on Aepyornis
Evan Robinson wrote:
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
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.
Rasmussen et al. (2001) also suggest that, based on the relative size and
proportions of the trochleae, _Eremopezus_'s toes might have been
prehensile. Since _Eremopezus_ was presumably too big to perch in trees
(!), this may indicate that its feet were used in predation. This lifestyle
may also weigh against paleognathous/ratite affinities for _Eremopezus_.
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.
There are several lineages of large terrestrial secondary flightless
non-ratites that existed in the Cenozoic (e.g., phorusrhacoids,
gastornithids/diatrymids, dromornithids). _Eremopezus_ may represent yet
another lineage. At the moment, there is no compelling evidence to suggest
that _Eremopezus_ was a ratite.
Get ready for school! Find articles, homework help and more in the Back to
School Guide! http://special.msn.com/network/04backtoschool.armx