List of Fossil Birds

List Of Fossil Birds

Birds are generally believed to have evolved from certain feathered theropod dinosaurs, and there is no real dividing line between birds and dinosaurs, except of course that some of the former survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event while the latter did not. For the purposes of this article, a 'bird' is considered to be any member of the clade Aves sensu lato. Some dinosaur groups which may or may not be true birds are listed below under 'Proto-birds'.

This page contains a listing of prehistoric bird taxa only known from completely fossilized specimens. These extinctions took place before the Late Quaternary and thus took place in the absence of significant human interference. While the earliest hominids had been eating birds and especially their eggs, human population and technology was simply insufficient to seriously affect healthy bird populations until the Upper Paleolithic Revolution. Rather, reasons for the extinctions listed here are stochastic abiotic events such as bolide impacts, climate change due to orbital shifts, mass volcanic eruptions etc. Alternatively, species may have gone extinct due to evolutionary displacement by successor or competitor taxa – it is notable that an extremely large number of seabirds have gone extinct during the mid-Tertiary; this seems at least partly due to competition by the contemporary radiation of marine mammals.

The relationships of these taxa are often hard to determine, as many are known only from very fragmentary remains and due to the complete fossilization precluding analysis of information from DNA, RNA or protein sequencing. The taxa listed in this article should be classified with the Wikipedia conservation status category "Fossil".

Before the late 19th century, when minerals were still considered one of the kingdoms of binomial nomenclature, fossils were often treated according to a parallel taxonomy. Rather than assigning them to animal or plant genera, they were treated as mineral genera and given binomial names typically using Osteornis ("bone-bird") or Ornitholithus ("bird fossil") as "genus". The latter name, however, is still in use for an oogenus of fossil bird eggs. Also, other animals (in particular pterosaurs) were placed in these "genera". In sources pre-dating the Linnean system, the above terms are also seen in the more extensive descriptions used to name taxa back then.

Read more about List Of Fossil Birds:  Taxonomic List of Fossil Prehistoric Birds, "Proto-birds" (extinct), Basal Avialae (extinct), Basal Pygostylia (extinct), Enantiornithes (extinct), Basal Ornithurae (extinct), Hesperornithes (extinct), Ichthyornithes (extinct), Neornithes, Avians incertae Sedis

Famous quotes containing the words list of, list, fossil and/or birds:

    Do your children view themselves as successes or failures? Are they being encouraged to be inquisitive or passive? Are they afraid to challenge authority and to question assumptions? Do they feel comfortable adapting to change? Are they easily discouraged if they cannot arrive at a solution to a problem? The answers to those questions will give you a better appraisal of their education than any list of courses, grades, or test scores.
    Lawrence Kutner (20th century)

    Lovers, forget your love,
    And list to the love of these,
    She a window flower,
    And he a winter breeze.
    Robert Frost (1874–1963)

    The earth is not a mere fragment of dead history, stratum upon stratum like the leaves of a book, to be studied by geologists and antiquaries chiefly, but living poetry like the leaves of a tree, which precede flowers and fruit,—not a fossil earth, but a living earth; compared with whose great central life all animal and vegetable life is merely parasitic.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    Weighing the steadfastness and state
    Of some mean things which here below reside,
    Where birds like watchful clocks the noiseless date
    And intercourse of times divide,
    Henry Vaughan (1622–1695)