Friday, April 08, 2016

New Remains of Late Cretaceous Giant Bird Gargantuavis philoinos Found in France

New remains of the giant bird Gargantuavis philoinos from the Late Cretaceous of Provence (south-eastern France)


Buffetaut et al


Two incomplete pelves of the giant bird Gargantuavis philoinos are described from Late Cretaceous deposits at Fox-Amphoux (Var, south-eastern France). They consist of synsacra with attached parts of the ilia. One of them has undergone considerable dorsoventral compression, which makes it very similar in appearance to the holotype pelvis of Gargantuavis philoinos from Campagne-sur-Aude (Aude, southern France). The second specimen has suffered some lateral distortion but is uncrushed dorsoventrally. Because of this, its avians characters (including an arched synsacrum and widespread pneumatisation) are especially clear. These new specimens confirm the avian nature of Gargantuavis and reveal new details about its pelvic anatomy, but provide little new evidence about its systematic position within Aves. The geographical distribution and general rarity of Gargantuavis are discussed.

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