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Article: Phylogenetic affinities and morphology of the Pliocene cathartiform Dryornis pampeanus Moreno & Mercerat

Papers in Palaeontology - Volume 7 Issue 1 - Cover
Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 7
Part: 4
Publication Date: November 2021
Page(s): 1765 1780
Author(s): Federico J. Degrange, Claudia P. Tambussi, Matías L. Taglioretti, and Fernando A. Scaglia
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1361
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How to Cite

DEGRANGE, F.J., TAMBUSSI, C.P., TAGLIORETTI, M.L., SCAGLIA, F.A. 2021. . Papers in Palaeontology, 7, 4, 1765-1780. DOI: /doi/10.1002/spp2.1361

Author Information

  • Federico J. Degrange - Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Tierra (CICTERRA) UNC, CONICET Avenida Vélez Sársfield 1611 X5016GCA Córdoba Argentina
  • Claudia P. Tambussi - Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Tierra (CICTERRA) UNC, CONICET Avenida Vélez Sársfield 1611 X5016GCA Córdoba Argentina
  • Matías L. Taglioretti - Museo Municipal de Ciencias Naturales Lorenzo Scaglia Av. Libertad 3099 B7600HJB Mar del Plata Argentina
  • Matías L. Taglioretti - Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales Instituto de Geología de Costas y del Cuaternario (CIC-UNMdP) Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata Dean Funes 3250 B7602AYJ Mar del Plata Argentina
  • Fernando A. Scaglia - Museo Municipal de Ciencias Naturales Lorenzo Scaglia Av. Libertad 3099 B7600HJB Mar del Plata Argentina

Publication History

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    Abstract

    The fossil bird Dryornis pampeanus Moreno & Mercerat, is reinterpreted after examination of new referred material (humerus, coracoid, fragments of ulna, radius, scapula, sternum and tibiotarsus) from the Pliocene Chapadmalal Formation of Argentina. The current diagnosis is emended in the light of important considerations that cast doubt on the previous attribution of the taxon to condors. The phylogenetic position of D. pampeanus was tested in a series of maximum parsimony analyses that included all seven living Cathartiformes and 207 osteological characters. The phylogenetic analyses placed D. pampeanus as the sister taxon of extant vultures. An estimation of 26 kg for the mass, positions D. pampeanus as the largest cathartiform to have ever lived. The presence of this taxon in both the Monte Hermoso and Chapadmalal Formations not only extends the stratigraphic range of the species, but also supports the idea that they were partially contemporaneous during the early Pliocene. The dependence of the vultures on ephemeral carrion suggests that they have especially large ranges. The sites from which the lectotype and new material were recovered (Monte Hermoso and Chapadmalal, respectively) are only 400 km apart, suggesting that the two sites were at least partly contemporaneous.

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