Schlagwort-Archive: Coraciiformes

A kingfisher-like bird from Messel – Quasisyndactylus longibrachis Mayr

This tiny bird is thought to be the ancestor of the kingfishers or of the todies, or of both.

Quasisyndactylus longibrachis was very small, only about 10 cm long, its legs were quite long, very much like in today’s todies (Todidae) and its feet were syndactyl (that means two of the toes, toes 3 and 4, are fused together), like those of all known Coraciiformes showing that it was a member of that order.

The species is known from several specimens, some of which also still harbor their feathering, showing that this species had rather roundish wings and a rather long tail.



[1] G. Mayr: „Coraciiforme“ und „piciforme“ Kleinvögel aus dem Mittel-Eozän der Grube Messel (Hessen, Deutschland). Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Band 205. 1998


Photo: Ghedoghedo

(under creative commons license (3.0))


my reconstruction, following a specimen with well preserved feathers; it’s only a sketch so far


edited: 05.11.2019; 06.11.2019

Fossil record of bird Coraciiformes

Family incertae sedis

Paracoracias occidentalis Clarke et al.

Quasisyndactylus longibrachis Mayr


Halcyoninae gen. & sp. ‘Riversleigh, Australia’


Eurystomus beremendensis Kessler

Miocoracias chenevali
 Mourer-Chauviré, Peyrouse & Hugueney


Eocoracias brachyptera Mayr & Mourer-Chauviré


Geranopterus alatus Milne-Edwards
Geranopterus bohemicus Mlikovský
Geranopterus milneedwardsi Mayr & Mourer-Chauviré


Merops radobojensis (Meyer)


Momotidae gen. & sp. ‘Florida, USA’

Protornis glarniensis
 von Meyer (?)


Primobucco frugilegus Mayr & Mourer-Chauviré
Primobucco mcgrewi Brodkorb
Primobucco perneri Mayr & Mourer-Chauviré

Septencoracias morsensis
 Bourdon et al.


Palaeotodus emryi Olson
Palaeotodus escampsiensis Mourer-Chauviré
Palaeotodus itardiensis Mourer-Chauviré


edited: 18.02.2019