author={Estelle Bourdon and Ba{\^a}di Bouya and Mohamed Iarochene},
Abstract A new taxon of the Prophaethontidae (Aves) is described from the phosphatic beds of the Ouled Abdoun Basin, Morocco. Lithoptila abdounensis gen. et sp. nov. is represented by a single, well-preserved neurocranium, dated as upper Paleocene (Thanetian) on the basis of the selachians identified in the matrix. This specimen is the oldest known African neornithine bird and the oldest record of the Prophaethontidae. It bears some striking resemblance to Prophaethon shrubsolei Andrews, 1899… 

New remains of the Eocene Prophaethon and the early evolution of tropicbirds (Phaethontiformes)

  • G. Mayr
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2015
The pelvis and leg bones of Prophaethon, including the previously unknown tarsometatarsus, are very different from modern tropicbirds and show a strong similarity to procellariiform birds, especially albatrosses.

A New Species of Threskiornithidae-Like Bird (Aves, Ciconiiformes) from the Green River Formation (Eocene) of Wyoming

This new species represents the first proposed part of Ciconiiformes (and possibly stem-Threskiornithidae) in the Green River Formation of North America and implies that additional lineages within the waterbird assemblage had diverged by the late early Eocene.

A new species of Limnofregata (Pelecaniformes: Fregatidae) from the Early Eocene Wasatch Formation of Wyoming: implications for palaeoecology and palaeobiology

The presence of early pelecaniform bird lineages in limnic ecosystems prior to their known occurrences in marine deposits/habitats appears to indicate that some clades of peleCANiform birds may have undergone an evolutionary transition from freshwater to marine habitats in a pattern reminiscent of what has been suggested during the evolution of pinnipeds or that their palaeoecology included broader niches ranging across a variety of aquatic habitats.

New Specimens of Lithoptila Abdounensis (Aves, Prophaethontidae) from the Lower Paleogene of Morocco

The anatomy and size of Lithoptila closely match those of Zhylgaia aestiflua, a putative shorebird from the Upper Paleocene of Kazakhstan, known from two partial humeri, and are assigned to the Prophaethontidae.

Pseudotoothed Birds (Aves, Odontopterygiformes) from the Early Tertiary of Morocco

This work provides evidence that Dasornis was widespread in the early Tertiary, as it is currently known from the Lower Paleogene deposits of Morocco, England, and Kazakhstan, and Paleoenvironmental studies show that these marine deposits formed in a tropical climate.

Durophagous Mosasauridae (Squamata) from the Upper Cretaceous phosphates of Morocco, with description of a new species of Globidens

Abstract Three durophagous mosasaur species are represented by isolated teeth in the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) phosphatic beds of Morocco. Globidens phosphaticus nov. sp. is characterised


  • G. Mayr
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • 2007
All of the sufficiently well-preserved avian taxa belong to terrestrial forms, and by its species poorness the Walbeck avifauna sharply contrasts with the very diverse avifaunas known from the earliest Eocene of Europe.

Higher-order phylogeny of modern birds (Theropoda, Aves: Neornithes) based on comparative anatomy. II. Analysis and discussion

A phylogenetic (cladistic) analysis of 150 taxa of Neornithes, including exemplars from all non-passeriform families, and subordinal representatives of Passeriformes, confirmed the topology among outgroup Theropoda and achieved robust resolution at virtually all levels of the NeornIthes.

The Basal Penguin (Aves: Sphenisciformes) Perudyptes devriesi and a Phylogenetic Evaluation of the Penguin Fossil Record

These two species, known from relatively complete partial skeletons, are the oldest crown clade penguin fossils and represent well-corroborated temporal calibration points for the Spheniscus-Eudyptula divergence and Megadyptes-EUDyptes divergence, respectively.

Fossil grebes from the Truckee Formation (Miocene) of Nevada and a new phylogenetic analysis of Podicipediformes (Aves)

Analysis offers insight into the tempo of grebe evolution by placing the Miocene taxon Thiornis sociata within the dabchick clade and nest the large, long‐necked Aechmophorus grebes within the genus Podiceps, as the sister taxon to Podiceps major.



A trans-Atlantic record of the fossil tropicbird Heliadornis ashbyi (Aves : Phaethontidae) from the Miocene of Belgium

•The fossil tropicbird Heliadornis ashbyi Olson, previously known from the unique holotype from the middle Miocene Calvert Formation of Maryland, is here recorded from a contemporaneous site in

A Giant Presbyornis (Aves, Anseriformes) And Other Birds From The Paleocene Aquia Formation Of Maryland And Virginia

A recently collected humérus is the largest and most diagnostic avian fossil yet discovered in the Aquia Formation, and as it merits description, the few other avian fossils found so far in the same strata are reviewed.

The phylogenetic affinities of the Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)

  • G. Mayr
  • Biology
    Journal für Ornithologie
  • 2006
A cladistic analysis of 54 anatomical characters resulted in monophyly of the shoebill and showed both Ciconiiformes and Pelecaniformes to be polyphyletic and the Phaethontidae share derived characters with the Procellariiformes, which might support a sister group relationship between the two taxa.

Molecules vs. morphology in avian evolution: the case of the "pelecaniform" birds.

  • S. HedgesC. G. Sibley
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1994
The traditional avian Order Pelecaniformes is composed of birds with all four toes connected by a web. This "totipalmate" condition is found in ca. 66 living species: 8 pelicans (Pelecanus), 9

Phylogeny of the Phalacrocoracidae

A phylogenetic analysis of the Recent taxa of Phalacrocoracidae using qualitative osteological characters concluded that cormorants are characterized by convergences, hags by reversals, and the nature of homoplasy in the family is discussed.

Fossil Birds from the Oligocene Jebel Qatrani Formation Fayum Province, Egypt

Rasmussen, D. Tab, Storrs L. Olson, and Elwyn L. Simons. Fossil Birds from the Oligocène Jebel Qatrani Formation, Fayum Province, Egypt. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology, number 62, 20

The theropod ancestry of birds: new evidence from the late cretaceous of madagascar

Rahona has a robust, hyperextendible second digit on the hind foot that terminates in a sicklelike claw, a unique characteristic of the theropod groups Troodontidae and Dromaeosauridae.

The origin and early diversification of birds

Numerical cladistic analysis of 73 cranial and postcranial characters has resulted in a highly corroborated hypothesis describing the phylogenetic pattern of early avian evolution. Using “non-avian

A new record of the Prophaethontidae (Aves: Pelecaniformes) from the Middle Eocene of Belgium

A new record of the pelecaniform family Prophaethontidae is described from the Middle Eocene of Belgium, described from an isolated left coracoid that presents previously unknown osteological details.

The mammal localities of Grand Daoui Quarries, Ouled Abdoun Basin, Morocco, Ypresian : A first survey

The unexpected discovery of mammals such as the earliest known proboscidean Phosphatherium escuilliei in the Ouled Abdoun phosphate Basin (Morocco), which is otherwise renowned for its very rich