The first fossil owls (Aves: Strigiformes) from the Paleogene of Asia and a review of the fossil record of Strigiformes

  title={The first fossil owls (Aves: Strigiformes) from the Paleogene of Asia and a review of the fossil record of Strigiformes},
  author={Evgeny N. Kurochkin and Gareth J. Dyke},
  journal={Paleontological Journal},
  • E. Kurochkin, G. Dyke
  • Published 27 July 2011
  • Geography, Environmental Science, Biology
  • Paleontological Journal
The fossil record of owls (Strigiformes) is one of the most extensive among the neornithine birds, yet at the same time largely restricted geographically to Europe and North America. Various fossil owls are known from the Paleocene (ca. 60 Ma) to Recent. Here we present the first taxonomic description of new species of Paleogene owls from Asia, two new taxa from the Eocene and Oligocene of Mongolia. The anatomy of Heterostrix tatsinensis gen. et sp. nov., represented by a complete Early… 

Skeleton of a New Owl from the Early Eocene of North America (Aves, Strigiformes) with an Accipitrid-Like Foot Morphology

It is hypothesize that a large-sized owl from Wasatchian strata of the Willwood Formation used its feet to dispatch prey items in a hawk-like manner, whereas extant owls kill prey with their beak.

The First Fossil Owl (Aves, Strigiformes) From the Paleogene of Africa

The relatively extensive fossil record of owls (Aves, Strigiformes) in North America and Europe stands in stark contrast to the paucity of fossil strigiformes from Africa. The first occurrence of a

New Early Pliocene Owls from Langebaanweg, South Africa, with First Evidence of Athene South of the Sahara and a New Species of Tyto

The fossiliferous Upper Varswater Formation at Langebaanweg (South Africa) produced remains of at least five species of owls (Strigiformes). Tyto richae sp. nov. is the first palaeospecies of

New Fossil Birds from the Earliest Eocene of Mongolia

Bird fossils from the earliest Eocene Bumban Member of the Naranbulag Formation in central Mongolia are reported that add to the known record from Asia from just after this boundary and have the potential to further inform the understanding of the early biogeography of these clades.

The world’s smallest owl, the earliest unambiguous charadriiform bird, and other avian remains from the early Eocene Nanjemoy Formation of Virginia (USA)

All bird fossils from the Nanjemoy Formation are three-dimensionally preserved and, therefore, allow a detailed assessment of osteological features, which complements studies of compression fossils from lagerstätten-type fossil sites.

New Bird Taxa (Aves: Galliformes, Gruiformes) from the Early Eocene of Mongolia

Abstract New bird taxa are described from the early Eocene Bumban Member of the Tsagaan-Khushuu locality in southern Mongolia. Bumbanortyx transitoria gen. et sp. nov. is a small galliform bird that

A revision of fossil eagle owls (Aves: Strigiformes: Bubo) from Europe and the description of a new species, Bubo ibericus, from Cal Guardiola (NE Iberian Peninsula)

Abstract The European fossil record of eagle owls, genus Bubo Duméril 1806, is thought to extend back into the Miocene, but records of Bubo before the Middle Pleistocene are scarce and mainly

New bird remains from the early Eocene Nanjemoy Formation of Virginia (USA), including the first records of the Messelasturidae, Psittacopedidae, and Zygodactylidae from the Fisher/Sullivan site

The hypothesis that early Eocene avifaunas featured a high taxonomic diversity, but that higher-level clades showed low species richness is supported, while it is hypothesised that this may indicate low rates of cladogenetic diversification in a rather homogenous paleoenvironment.

A new barn owl (Aves: Strigiformes: Tytonidae) from the Middle Miocene of the Nördlinger Ries (Germany) with remarks on the history of the owls

A new taxon of barn owl is described from the Middle Miocene localities at Steinberg and Goldberg in the Nordlinger Ries (Southern Germany) and shows some characters intermediate with Strigidae.

Cenozoic phoenicopteriform birds from central Asia

  • N. Zelenkov
  • Biology, Geography
    Paleontological Journal
  • 2013
A new phoenicopteriform bird, Palaelodus kurochkini sp. nov., is described from the terminal middle Miocene of Mongolia (the Sharga locality) on the basis of a partial tibiotarsus and tentatively



A New Presbyornithid Bird (Aves, Anseriformes) from the Late Cretaceous of Southern Mongolia

Describing Teviornis confirms the presence of members of the neornithine clade Anseriformes (“waterfowl”) in the Late Cretaceous, as has been suggested previously on the basis of much less diagnostic fossil material as well as from clade divergence estimates founded on molecular sequence data.

A small loon and a new species of large owl from the Rupelian of Belgium (Aves: Gaviiformes, Strigiformes)

It is detailed that there are differences in the higher level taxonomic composition of the known early Oligocene avifaunas of northern and southern Europe, which may reflect true zoogeographic facts owing to a different climate and vegetation.


A new classification for the order Coliiformes is proposed including two new families, Chascacocoliidae and Selmeidae, and it is suggested that the Lower Eocene Eocolius is the most basal member of clade Coliidae, while the Lower–Middle Eocene Sandcoleidae form a basal clade with respect to all other known coliiforms.

The Paleogene fossil record of birds in Europe

  • G. Mayr
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2005
The phylogenetic position of Paleogene birds indicates that diversification of the crown‐groups of modern avian‘families’ did not take place before the Oligocene, irrespective of their relative position within Neornithes (crown‐group birds).


The Messelasturidae provide a morphological link between Strigiformes and Falconiformes (diurnal birds of prey), and support the highly disputed falconiform affinities of owls in combining derived tibiotarsus and tarsometatarsus characters of owl with a more plesiomorphic, ‘falcon-’ or ‘hawk-like', skull morphology.

The quality of the fossil record of Mesozoic birds

A dataset comprising all known fossil taxa is presented, suggesting that the broad outlines of early avian evolution are consistently represented: no stage in the Mesozoic is characterized by an overabundance of scrappy fossils compared with more complete specimens.

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.

Fossil gap analysis supports early Tertiary origin of trophically diverse avian orders

The quality of the fossil record is consistent with the classical view that trophically diverse extant bird orders arose and diversified rapidly following the widespread extinction of other terrestrial groups at the K-T boundary.

Heptasteornis was no ornithominid, troodontid, dromaeosaurid or owl: the first alvarezsaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from Europe

A recognition of a shared derived character and strong similarity of the specimen to the distal tibiotarsi of members of the Alvarezsauridae, a clade of controversial flightless maniraptoran theropods, leads us to suggest that it represents an alvarezsaurid.

The status of Minerva antiqua, Aquila ferox and Aquila lydekkeri as fossil birds. American Museum novitates ; no. 680

In study of fossil bird material in the American Museum of Natural History, R. W. Shufeldt in 1913 named three species that he considered fossil eagles,' namely, Aquila antiqua, A. ferox, and A.