A LATE CRETACEOUS PRESBYORNITHIDAE (AVES: ANSERIFORMES) FROM VEGA ISLAND, ANTARCTIC PENINSULA: PALEOBIOGEOGRAPHIC IMPLICATIONS

Jorge Noriega, Claudia P. Tambussi

Abstract


This contribution reports the discovery of a Presbyornithidae (Aves: Anseriformes) from the Late Cretaceous of Vega Island, Antarct ica. The systematic position of the Presbyomithidae is under discussion, but it is evident that they represent a clade closely related to the basal anseriforms. Members of this family of wading birds have been recorded in the Paleocene of Mongolia and USA, and in the Early Eocene of USA and Patagonia. The presence of presbyornithids in the Cretaceous of Antarctica seems lo reinforce the hypothesis of the southern hemisphere origin of the Anatidae, and perhaps of the entire order Anseriformes.

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