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Article: A new psittaciform bird from the London Clay (Lower Eocene) of England

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 43
Part: 2
Publication Date: June 2000
Page(s): 271 285
Author(s): Gareth J. Dyke and Joanne H. Cooper
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DYKE, G. J., COOPER, J. H. 2000. A new psittaciform bird from the London Clay (Lower Eocene) of England. Palaeontology43, 02, 271–285.

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A new psittaciform bird from the Lower Eocene (Ypresian) London Clay of England is described. This taxon, Pulchrapollia gracilis gen. et sp. nov., is assigned to the order Psittaciformes (parrots) on the basis of several distinctive structures of the tarsometatarsus, namely the trochlea for metatarsal III (trochlea metatarsi III) bearing a tubercle on its lateral side and the trochlea for metatarsal IV (trochlea metatarsi IV) completely retroverted (fully zygodactyl foot). Comparisons with other fossil and Recent taxa further support this conclusion. Cladistic analysis shows that Pulchrapollia is the sister-taxon of the single extant family within Psittaciformes, the Psittacidae. Palaeopsittacus georgei, a taxon previously described from the London Clay, is most likely based on some unassociated material and is regarded here as incertae sedis.
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