Data from: Oldest, smallest and phylogenetically most basal pelagornithid, from the early Paleocene of New Zealand, sheds light on the evolutionary history of the largest flying birds

Gerald Mayr, Vanesa De Pietri, Leigh Love, Al Mannering & Richard Scofield
The Cenozoic Pelagornithidae, or pseudotoothed birds, are characterized by unique bony projections along the cutting edges of the beak. These birds were previously known from late Paleocene to Pliocene fossil sites and some species reached wingspans up to 6.4 metres. Here we describe a partial skeleton of a small-sized pelagornithid from the early Paleocene of New Zealand. Protodontopteryx ruthae, gen. et sp. nov. is the oldest record of the clade, the smallest known species, and...
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