The earliest known pelican reveals 30 million years of evolutionary stasis in beak morphology

@article{Louchart2010TheEK,
  title={The earliest known pelican reveals 30 million years of evolutionary stasis in beak morphology},
  author={Antoine Louchart and Nicolas Tourment and Julie Carrier},
  journal={Journal of Ornithology},
  year={2010},
  volume={152},
  pages={15-20}
}
The feeding apparatus of Paleogene birds is rarely well-preserved. Here, we describe the earliest known pelican (early Oligocene, Luberon, southeastern France), with its almost complete beak. Morphologically identical to modern pelicans, the new fossil already shows several advanced features unique to extant species of the genus Pelecanus. It probably belongs to the lineage ancestral to all or some of these pelican species. This fossil reveals a remarkable evolutionary stasis in the morphology… CONTINUE READING

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