Article: Revision of the phasianids (Aves: Galliformes) from the Lower Miocene of Saint-Gérand-Le-Puy (Allier, France)
A revision of the phasianids (Aves, Galliformes) from the Lower Miocene of St-Gerand-le-Puy (Allier, France) has been carried out. Palaeortyx brevipes Milne-Edwards, 1869, Palaeortyx gallica Milne-Edwards, 1869, Palaeortyx phasianoides Milne-Edwards, 1869, and Palaeortyx intermedia Ballmann, 1969 have been known before from this locality. St-Gerand-le-Puy is the type locality of the first three species. The four species of Palaeortyx represented at St-Gerand-le-Puy are distinguished by their size. Their separation and validity have recently been doubted with serious consequences for the systematics of Palaeortyx. Our investigation confirmed the separation and validity of the four species, whereby Palaeortyx intermedia was recognized to be a junior synonym of Palaeortyx prisca and is synonymized with the latter here. These results are supported by investigations on variability statistics on some recent quails and partridges (Coturnix, Perdix, Alectoris). Comparisons with fossil phasianids from Quercy, Sansan, and La Grive (all France) and Wintershof-West (Germany) are made. New morphological and size differences between Palaeortyx and some species of Palaeocryptonyx are described.