The rollers (Aves: Coraciiformes sensu stricto) from the Middle Eocene of Messel (Hessen, Germany) and the Upper Eocene of the Quercy (France) are described. The “Messel-roller” Eocoracias brachyptera, gen. et sp. nov. is the earliest certain record of rollers known so far and is classified within the new family Eocoraciidae. New excavations in the Quercy and a revision of the earlier collections have produced additional skeletal material which can be assigned to Geranopterus alatus Milne-Edwards, 1892. This species so far has been known from an isolated humerus only. A new species, Geranopterus milneedwardsi, is described from the Upper Eocene of the Quercy and mainly differs from G. alatus in its smaller size. The genus Geranopterus is classified within the new family Geranopteridae which is shown to be the sister taxon of the two recent families Brachypteraciidae and Coraciidae. The Eocoraciidae are the sister taxon of the Coracioidea (Geranopteridae and recent rollers). Outgroup comparison with the basal rollers described in this study suggests that the fairly long wing of the Coraciidae and the elongated tarsometatarsus of the Brachypteraciidae are derived features of these families.
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