Article: An assessment of the diversity of early Miocene Scolopaci (Aves, Charadriiformes) from Saint-Gérand-le-Puy (Allier, France)
‘Totanus’lartetianus, Elorius paludicola and ‘Tringa’gracilis are the three scolopacid birds from the early Miocene of Saint-Gérand-le-Puy described by the French palaeontologist Milne-Edwards in the 19th century. Since then, no revision of these taxa has been performed. Our re-examination revealed that not much of the material originally assigned to ‘Totanus’lartetianus can be retained within the species. Presumably plesiomorphic features of the humerus – and potentially the coracoid we attributed to this taxon – indicate that it is misplaced in the extant scolopacid genus and may not even belong to the Scolopacidae (sandpipers and allies), and we therefore place it in the new genus Scolopacimilis. Comparisons of the material assigned to Elorius paludicola and ‘Tringa’gracilis show that they are morphologically similar, both exhibiting distinct scolopacid anatomical features. The latter, however, cannot be referred to the extant taxonTringa and is classified into the new genus Parvelorius. We further introduce three new species, ?Elorius limosoides sp. nov., and ?Parvelorius calidris sp. nov., which we have tentatively assigned to the extinct scolopacid genera Elorius and Parvelorius, respectively, and Becassius charadriioides gen. et. sp. nov., which, together with Scolopacimilis, display a morphology uncharacteristic for extant Scolopaci. For the first time we have assigned skulls to some of the postcranial elements described in this study. The presence of at least six species of Scolopaci from the early Miocene considerably increases the number of members of the group known from this time.