author={Gerald Mayr and C{\'e}cile Mourer‐Chauvir{\'e}},
Abstract In recent years, mousebirds (Aves, Coliiformes) have been recognized as one of the predominant groups of small perching birds in the early Tertiary of the Northern Hemisphere. Two major lineages can be distinguished, the Sandcoleidae, which are exclusively known from Paleocene and Eocene deposits, and the Coliidae, which have been found in Upper Eocene to Pliocene deposits and also include the six extant African species. Here we describe a nearly complete tarsometatarsus of a mousebird… 

New data on the anatomy and palaeobiology of sandcoleid mousebirds (Aves, Coliiformes) from the early Eocene of Messel

  • G. Mayr
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments
  • 2018
It is hypothesised that differences in the tail morphology of sandcoleids and coliids may have been due to changes in the habitual perching posture, which occurred early in the evolutionary history of the Coliidae.

Affinities of Palaeospiza bella and the Phylogeny and Biogeography of Mousebirds (Coliiformes)

It is shown that P. bella is a member of the Coliiformes (mousebirds) and represents the latest North American occurrence of a clade with an exclusively African extant distribution and Phylogenetic results imply that a minimum of three mousebird dispersals from Europe to North America occurred during the Early Cenozoic.


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.

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.

New fossil mousebird (Aves: Coliiformes) with feather preservation provides insight into the ecological diversity of an Eocene North American avifauna

A new species of Coliiformes is reported from the early Eocene Fossil Butte Member of the Green River Formation, represented by one of the comparatively few fossils from these deposits preserving carbonized traces of the wing and tail feathering.

Late Oligocene mousebird converges on parrots in skull morphology

  • G. Mayr
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • 2013
The new fossil shows that late Oligocene European stem group Coliiformes significantly differed from their extant relatives in morphology and probably also in feeding ecology.

Podargiform Affinities of the Enigmatic Fluvioviridavis platyrhamphus and the Early Diversification of Strisores (“Caprimulgiformes” + Apodiformes)

The well-preserved mandible and palate of the new specimen demonstrate that many of the unique characteristics of the skull that characterize the crown frogmouth clade Podargidae arose early in the evolutionary history of the clade, over 50 million years ago.

On the osteology and phylogenetic affinities of Morsoravis sedilis (Aves) from the early Eocene Fur Formation of Denmark

This analysis supports a sister group relationship between Morsoravis and Pumiliornis, and the clade including the two taxa is recovered as the sister taxon of the late Eocene/early Oligocene Eocuculus.

Bird evolution in the Eocene: climate change in Europe and a Danish fossil fauna.

  • B. LindowG. Dyke
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2006
Taking biotic factors in tandem with the known Paleogene fossil record of Neornithes has recently begun to illuminate this evolutionary event, as well as well-preserved fossil taxa are required in combination with ever-improving phylogenetic hypotheses for the inter-relationships of modern birds.



New or previously unrecorded avian taxa from the Middle Eocene of Messel (Hessen, Germany)

An exceptionally well preserved skeleton of a sandcoleid bird gives new information on the osteology and feathering of sandcoelid birds, and an isolated foot of a gruiform bird is assigned to ldiornis cf.

The mousebirds (Aves: Coliiformes) from the Middle Eocene of Grube Messel (Hessen, Germany)

The monophyly of the Coliiformes (Sandcoleidae + Coliidae) is well corroborated with the recognition of ten osteological synapomorphies and the resemblances that exist between the Recent mousebirds and the “higher” non-passeriform and the passeriform birds respectively, most likely are due to convergence.

A mousebird (Aves: Coliiformes) from the Eocene of England

The first fossil mousebird known from the Eocene of England is described and is assigned to the order Coliiformes (mousebirds) on the basis of a character of the proximal ulna (large cotyla dorsalis), which further support this conclusion.

A new mousebird (Coliiformes: Coliidae) from the Oligocene of Germany

  • G. Mayr
  • Biology
    Journal für Ornithologie
  • 2005
The new taxon has a more strongly developed wing and a much shorter tarsometatarsus than recent mousebirds and was probably adapted to a more sustained flight.

A radiation of coly-like birds from the Eocene of North America (Aves: Sandcoleiformes new order)

A new order and family (Sandcolei formes: Sandcoleidae) is erected for the Middle Eocene genera Eobucco Feduccia and Martin 1976, Uintornis Marsh 1872, and Botauroides Shufeldt 1915 of Wyoming and three new genera from the Lower Eocene of Wyoming.

Notice of some new Tertiary and post-Tertiary birds

THE discoveries of the last few years have shown conclusively that remains of Birds, so long unrepresented among the fossils of this country, are occasionally found well preserved in some of our

The Hindlimb Musculature of the Mousebirds (Coliiformes)

The hindlimbs of two species of mousebirds were dissected in order to provide myological descriptions, to elucidate the mechanism of digit rotation and other characteristic locomotor habits, and possibly to yield clues to the systematic position of the order Coliiformes.

Phylogeny and Classification of the Birds: A Study in Molecular Evolution

Part 1: a brief history structure and properties of DNA gene structure and function genetic regulation DNA reassociation and thermal stability the sequence organization of the genome the families of

New specimens of the Middle Eocene fossil mousebird Selmes absurdipes Peters 1999

Described here are an excellently preserved new specimen of the Middle Eocene mousebird Selmes absurdipes from the type locality Messel (Hessen, Germany) and first records of this species from the