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Picavus litencicensis, a new member of Pici from the Czech Republic

Dear DMLers,
... because Oligocene feathered theropods are cool too;o)

Mayr, G. & Gregorová, R. 2012. A tiny stem group representative of
Pici (Aves, Piciformes) from the early Oligocene of the Czech
Republic. Paläontologische Zeitschrift.

Abstract: We describe a new stem group representative of Pici
(woodpeckers, honeyguides, barbets, and allies) from the early
Oligocene (Rupelian) of the Czech Republic. The holotype of Picavus
litencicensis, gen. et sp. nov. is a postcranial skeleton with
well-preserved feather remains. The new species is distinguished from
crown group Pici in several plesiomorphic features and is assigned to
the new taxon Picavidae, fam. nov. The absence of an elongated
accessory trochlea for the reversed fourth toe shows P. litencicensis
to be the most basal representative of Pici, and concerning the
morphology of the distal tarsometatarsus the species represents a
morphological link between Pici and their sister taxon, the Galbulae.
Like all other early Oligocene piciform birds, P. litencicensis is a
tiny bird, the size of the smallest extant Pici. Because all
Palaeogene Pici were found in Europe and some of these are outside the
crown group, an Old World origin of Pici is likely. With definitive
crown group representatives of Pici being unknown before the late
Oligocene/early Miocene, the fossil record does not support earlier
molecular calibrations, which resulted in a late Cretaceous divergence
of crown group Pici.

Daniel Madzia
web: www.wildprehistory.org
mail: daniel.madzia@gmail.com
skype: danielmadzia