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1 September 2011 Re-Examination of Psilopterus lemoinei (Aves, Phorusrhacidae), a Late Early Miocene Little Terror Bird from Patagonia (Argentina)
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Abstract
Psilopterus lemoinei, the largest species in this genus, was a small terror bird weighing 8–9 kg, and was a ground bird with functionally tridactyl feet. New remains of this phorusrhacid, including an exceptionally preserved anterior part of a skull recovered from the Patagonian Killik Aike Norte locality (Santa Cruz Formation, late early Miocene), is now available for study. The main purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed morphological description of Psilopterus lemoinei. The new fossils show for the first time that the internal structure of the beak is hollow and reinforced with thin-walled trabeculae. The absence of zona flexoria palatina and zona flexoria arcus jugalis are key features related to the evolution of cranial akinesis. Homologies of the narial and fenestra antorbitalis boundaries have been clarified. Our re-examination allows the establishment of primary osteological homologies useful in comparative anatomy, functional morphology, and phylogenetic studies.
© 2011 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Federico J. Degrange and Claudia P. Tambussi "Re-Examination of Psilopterus lemoinei (Aves, Phorusrhacidae), a Late Early Miocene Little Terror Bird from Patagonia (Argentina)," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31(5), (1 September 2011). https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2011.595466
Received: 17 January 2011; Accepted: 31 May 2011; Published: 1 September 2011
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