St Bathans adzebill

?Aptornis proasciarostratus Worthy, Tennyson & Scofield, 2011

Order: Gruiformes

Family: Aptornithidae

New Zealand status: Endemic

Conservation status: Extinct

Other names: Saint Bathans adzebill

 
 
St Bathans adzebill. Holotype (thoracic vertebra), S.052350, Te Papa. St Bathans. Image © Te Papa

St Bathans adzebill. Holotype (thoracic vertebra), S.052350, Te Papa. St Bathans. Image © Te Papa

The St Bathans adzebill was described from 2 thoracic vertebrae recovered from 19-16 million-year-old (Early Miocene) lake-bed deposits along the true left bank of the Manuherikia River, St Bathans, central Otago. Four other bone fragments from the same fossil deposits may be of the same species.  

The holotype (NMNZ S.52350) and paratype (NMNZ S.52353) are held at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

The St Bathans adzebill was slightly smaller than the two recent adzebill species. The species name is based on ‘pro’, before, ‘ascia’, Latin for adze, and ‘rostratus’, Latin adjective for beaked.

This find confirmed the presence of the endemic monotypic family Aptornithidae in New Zealand for at least 16 million years.

Weblinks

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/fossils/6/1

References

Worthy, T.H.; Tennyson, A.J.D.; Jones, C.; McNamara, J.A.; Douglas, B.J. 2007. Miocene waterfowl and other birds from central Otago, New Zealand. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 5: 1-39.

Worthy, T.H.; Tennyson, A.J.D.; Scofield, R.P. 2011. Fossils reveal an Early Miocene presence of the aberrant gruiform Aves: Aptornithidae in New Zealand. Journal of Ornithology 152: 669-680.

Recommended citation

Miskelly, C.M. 2013. St Bathans adzebill. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz

St Bathans adzebill

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