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Re: Gargantuavis neck vertebra

Heinrich Mallison <heinrich.mallison@googlemail.com> wrote:

> for once, I completely second Greg's email! We must be more aware of
> how little we know of palaeodiversity, and be much more cautious of
> wastebasket use of well-defined taxa.

I also agree.  _Gargantuavis_ could have been one of several large
flightless birds living at or around the same time and place.  The
bird vertebra is described by the authors as being cassowary-sized.
In today's world, there are three flightless cassowary-sized birds
running around in tropical Australasia.  They're called cassowaries.

The _Gargantuavis_ type material and the new neck vertebra come from
the Ibero-Armorican island.  Cretaceous birds of Europe may have been
especially prone to secondary flightlessness.