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Re: Earliest pollinating bird from Eocene found in Messel Pit



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

Here is the full ref:


Gerald Mayr and Volker Wilde (2014)
Eocene fossil is earliest evidence of flower-visiting by birds.
Biology Letters May 2014 vol. 10 no. 5 20140223
doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0223
http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/10/5/20140223.abstract


Birds are important pollinators, but the evolutionary history of
ornithophily (bird pollination) is poorly known. Here, we report a
skeleton of the avian taxon Pumiliornis from the middle Eocene of
Messel in Germany with preserved stomach contents containing numerous
pollen grains of an eudicotyledonous angiosperm. The skeletal
morphology of Pumiliornis is in agreement with this bird having been
a, presumably nectarivorous, flower-visitor. It represents the
earliest and first direct fossil evidence of flower-visiting by birds
and indicates a minimum age of 47 million years for the origin of
bird–flower interactions. As Pumiliornis does not belong to any of the
modern groups of flower-visiting birds, the origin of ornithophily in
some angiosperm lineages may have predated that of their extant avian
pollinators.



On Tue, May 27, 2014 at 4:54 PM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
> From: Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
>
> News stories for a paper due out tomorrow in Biology Letters about
> pollen found in stomach of Eocene Pumiliornis tessellatus from Messel
> Pit site in Germany:
>
>
> http://www.livescience.com/45901-earliest-flower-pollination-by-birds.html
>
>
> http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140527-fossil-first-earliest-bird-pollinator/