ZPALWr. A/4003

We spoke about Oligocene birds with brittly legs before … this one is a small fossil, a slab and its counter slab of course containing a single foot, a ca. 3,6 cm long right foot only retaining the first and the second toe.

This partial foot was compared to many other bird forms and it was found that it most closely resembled the foot of columbiform birds, that is pigeons and doves.

If this indeed was a columbiform bird it is now the oldest known of its kind – since true pigeons and doves actually apear in the fossil record quite late, with the oldest remains coming from the Miocene era respectively from the border of the Late Oligocene and the Early Miocene.

However, ZPALWr. A/4003, being only a partial foot, is not enough to fully constitute its taxonomic affinities. [1]

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Assuming that this fossil indeed is of a true a pigeon, it must have reached a life size of about 25 cm.

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References:

[1] Zbigniew M. Bocheński; Teresa Tomek; Ewa Świdnicka: A columbid-like avian foot from the Oligocene of Poland. Acta Ornithologica 45(2): 233-236. 2010

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edited: 11.08.2019

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