Geological Magazine

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New evidence of a giant bird from the Late Cretaceous of France

ERIC BUFFETAUTa1 c1 and DELPHINE ANGSTa2

a1 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 8538, Laboratoire de Géologie de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France

a2 Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon, CNRS UMR 5276, 2 rue Dubois, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France

Abstract

A large heterocoelous cervical vertebra from the Late Cretaceous of Cruzy (Hérault, southern France) is described and referred to the giant bird Gargantuavis philoinos Buffetaut & Le Loeuff, 1998, confirming its avian nature. Gargantuavis appears to have been a long-necked bird with possibly a relatively small skull. Derived features such as heterocoely suggest that Gargantuavis was an advanced ornithuromorph, close to ornithurines.

(Received February 15 2012)

(Accepted May 23 2012)

(Online publication June 13 2012)

Keywords:

  • Aves;
  • Late Cretaceous;
  • France;
  • Gargantuavis ;
  • vertebra

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: eric.buffetaut@sfr.fr

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