Passerine - Origin and Evolution - Fossil Record - Early European Passerines

Early European Passerines

In Europe, perching birds are not too uncommon in the fossil record from the Oligocene onwards, but most are too fragmentary for a more definite placement:

  • Wieslochia (Early Oligocene of Frauenweiler, Germany)
  • Jamna (Early Oligocene of Jamna Dolna, Poland)
  • Passeriformes gen. et sp. indet. (Early Oligocene of Luberon, France) – suboscine or basal
  • Passeriformes gen. et spp. indet. (Late Oligocene of France) – several suboscine and oscine taxa
  • Passeriformes gen. et spp. indet. (Middle Miocene of France and Germany) – basal?
  • Passeriformes gen. et spp. indet. (Sajóvölgyi Middle Miocene of Mátraszõlõs, Hungary) – at least 2 taxa, possibly 3; at least one probably Oscines
  • Passeriformes gen. et sp. indet. (Middle Miocene of Felsõtárkány, Hungary) – oscine?
  • Passeriformes gen. et sp. indet. (Late Miocene of Polgárdi, Hungary) – Sylvioidea (Sylviidae? Cettiidae?)

Wieslochia was possibly not a member of any extant suborder. That not only the Passeri expanded much beyond their region of origin is proven by an undetermined broadbill (Eurylaimidae) from the Early Miocene (roughly 20 mya) of Wintershof, Germany, and the indeterminate Late Oligocene suboscine from France listed above. Even very basal Passeriformes might have been common in Europe until the Middle Miocene, some 12 mya. Extant Passeri superfamilies were quite distinct by that time and are known since about 12–13 mya when modern genera were present in the corvoidean and basal songbirds. The modern diversity of Passerida genera is known mostly from the Late Miocene onwards and into the Pliocene (about 10–2 mya). Pleistocene and early Holocene lagerstätten (<1.8 mya) yield numerous extant species, and many yield almost nothing but extant species or their chronospecies and paleosubspecies.

Read more about this topic:  Passerine, Origin and Evolution, Fossil Record

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