The first representative Pliocene assemblages of passerine birds in Asia (Northern Mongolia and Russian Transbaikalia)

Borissiak Palaeontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Profsoyuznaya street, 123, 117997 Moscow, Russia
Geobios (Impact Factor: 1.01). 05/2012; 45(3):323-334. DOI: 10.1016/j.geobios.2011.10.001


Passerine birds from two late Pliocene localities, Shaamar in northern Mongolia and Beregovaya in
Transbaikalia (East Russia), represent the first known Neogene fossil assemblages of perching birds from
Asia. A total of 11 families and 15 taxa are recognized, including a new genus and species of bunting,
Pliocalcarius orkhonensis, apparently related to the Longspurs, and new species within the genera Hirundo
and Rhodospiza, which are described. The avifauna is composed of open land and bush dwellers; it
contains a few arid species, representing the oldest finds of the corresponding genera or lineages. This
may indicate that the living Asian arid avian complex originated in Central Asia in the Neogene. Several
genera (Rhodospiza, Paradoxornis) are documented in this paper for the first time in pre-Pleistocene
deposits. Report of Calcarius is the first pre-Holocene evidence of the occurrence of this genus in Asia,
which together with the remains of Synaptomys lemmings at Shaamar, illustrates faunal interchanges
between North America and Asia in the Pliocene.

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    • "The Miocene European duck " Anas " velox, for example, was included in the genus Mioquerquedula (Zelenkov and Kurochkin, 2012a), and it has also been supposed that the larger Miocene European duck " Anas " sansaniensis may be related to Chenoanas from Sharga (Zelenkov, 2012a). The late Miocene Chinese duck Aythya shihuibas was transs ferred to the genus Protomelanitta, also known from Sharga (Zelenkov, 2012a) and the find of Palaeloo didae described here extends the list of widespread Miocene taxa. "
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    ABSTRACT: A new phoenicopteriform bird, Palaelodus kurochkini sp. nov., is described from the terminal mid� dle Miocene of Mongolia (the Sharga locality) on the basis of a partial tibiotarsus and tentatively associated fragmentary tarsometatarsus, carpometacarpus and proximal phalanx of the major wing digit. This is the first record of the extinct phoenicopteriform family Palaelodidae in Asia and shows that the genus Palaelodus is one of few taxa in the Sharga fauna to have a wide distribution range. Two other fossils of Phoenicopteriform birds from the Cenozoic of Central Asia are also restudied in this work; Agnopterus turgaiensis from the early Oligocene of Kazakhstan is provisionally placed within the extant family Phoenicopteridae, and Cygnopterus lambrechti, also from the Lower Oligocene of Kazakhstan, is identified as belonging to an indeterminate phoenicopteriform family.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Paleontological Journal
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    • "Имеющиеся данные весьма фрагментарны, и у зоологов до сих пор нет общей картины эволюции отдельных групп птиц и птичьих сообществ в четвертичном периоде. На основании имеющихся в настоящее время довольно ограниченных палеонтологических свидетельств (Emslie, 1998; Boev, 2002; Zelenkov, Kurochkin, 2012) можно заключить, что заключии тельный этап формирования современных орнии токомплексов Голарктики относится к концу плиоцена (около 2.6 млн. лет назад). "
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    ABSTRACT: A review of some zoological problems on Quaternary paleornithology is presented. Poor knowledge of the avian faunas of the Early and Middle Pleistocene is noted. Several possible measurements of bones that could decrease the effect of an investigator are suggested. Problems related to the species identification, description of fossil species, and subspecies are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Zoologicheskiĭ zhurnal

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