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Gastornis remains from Eocene of France

From: Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Estelle Bourdon, Cecile Mourer-Chauvire, and Yves Laurent (2014)
The birds (Aves) from the Early Eocene of La Borie, southern France.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (in press)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4202/app.00083.2014

The Early Eocene locality of La Borie is located in the village of
Saint-Papoul, in southern France. These Eocene fluvio-lacustrine clay
deposits have yielded numerous vertebrate remains. Mammalian taxa
found in the fossiliferous levels indicate an age near the reference
level MP 8–9, which corresponds to the middle Ypresian, Lower Eocene.
Here we provide a detailed description of the avian remains that were
preliminarily reported in a recent study of the vertebrate fauna from
La Borie. A maxilla, a quadrate, cervical vertebrae, a femur and two
tibiotarsi are assigned to the giant ground bird Gastornis parisiensis
Hébert, 1855 (Gastornithidae). These new avian remains add to the
fossil record of Gastornis, which is known from the Upper Paleocene to
Middle Eocene of Europe, Early Eocene of Asia, and Early Eocene of
North America. Gastornis parisiensis differs from the North American
Gastornis giganteus (Cope, 1876) in several features, including the
more ventral position of the external nares and the slender orbital
process of quadrate. Two tibiotarsi and one tarsometatarsus are
assigned to a new genus and species of Geranoididae, Galligeranoides
boriensis gen. nov, sp. nov. So far, this family was known only from
the Early and Middle Eocene of North America. The fossils from La
Borie constitute the first record of the Geranoididae in Europe. We
show that Gastornis coexisted with the Geranoididae in the Lower
Eocene of both Europe (La Borie) and North America (Willwood
formation). The presence of Geranoididae and the large flightless bird
Gastornis on either side of the present-day North Atlantic provides
further evidence that a high-latitude land connection existed between
Europe and North America in the Early Eocene.