We describe a postcranial skeleton of a stem-group tody (Aves: Alcediniformes: Todidae) from the early Oligocene of Germany. The fossil is tentatively assigned to Palaeotodus itardiensis Mourer-Chauviré, 1985, which previously was known only from a few incomplete bones from the early Oligocene of France. It is the most substantial fossil record of a Paleogene stem-group tody described so far and shows many previously unknown skeletal details. The specimen confirms the occurrence of Todidae, which are today restricted to the Caribbean Greater Antilles, in the Paleogene of Europe. The biogeographical significance of these finds depends on the phylogenetic relationships between Todidae and other alcediniform birds. If Todidae are not the sister taxon of Momotidae (motmots) as suggested by a recent phylogenetic analysis of molecular data, occurrence of stem-group Todidae in the Old World fossil record actually follows from the currently assumed Old World origin of alcediniform birds.
Ein Todi (Alcediniformes: Todidae) aus dem unteren Oligozän Deutschlands