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Avian fossils from the Early Miocene Moghra Formation of Egypt

N Adam Smith


Avian remains from the Early Miocene (~17 Ma) Moghra Formation of Egypt include new records of ‘waterbirds’ (storks, herons, pelicans and allies) and a ratite. Only a single avian fossil has been previously reported from Wadi Moghra and, thus, additional knowledge of the avifauna complements previously documented faunal and floral assemblages and provides a more complete picture of the Early Miocene ecosystem of that locality. The presence of ciconiiforms and pelecaniforms is consistent with the relatively abundant records of ‘waterbirds’ from other African freshwater fossil localities. Moreover, avian fossils from Wadi Moghra provide new insight into the avifaunal composition of the Early Miocene in Africa, a period that is relatively underrepresented in the avian fossil record of that continent.

Keywords: aepyornithoid, Ardeidae, avian evolution, Balaenicipitidae, Ciconiiformes, fossil eggshell

OSTRICH 2013, 84(3): 181–189 Printed in South Africa — All rights reserved

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eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525