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The present book is the first detailed review of the Paleogene avian fossil record on a worldwide scale. Numerous well-preserved fossil bird remains from this geological period, which covers the time span from the end of the Mesozoic era to the beginning of the Miocene, have been described in the past two decades. Some of these not only provide information on morphological transformations in the evolutionary history of the extant avian taxa, but are also of great significance for an understanding of their historical biogeography. Others represent extinct taxa which sometimes show a bizarre morphology not found in modern birds, such as the giant pseudo-toothed birds which reached wingspans up to six meters.
The reader is introduced to basic morphological features of the various groups which, as far as possible, are placed into a phylogenetic context in the light of current hypotheses on the interrelationships of extant birds. In a concluding chapter the biogeographical significance of Paleogene fossil birds and possible reasons for faunal changes during the Paleogene are detailed. As such, Paleogene Fossil Birds not only aims at providing an overview for specialists, but may also help students of other fields of vertebrate paleontology to better understand Paleogene ecosystems.
"This book presents the first detailed review of the Paleogene avian fossil record on a worldwide scale. Included in the book are several black-and-white photos of the actual fossil specimens. Anyone with an interest in avian or Paleogene paleontology will want this book!"
- GrrlScientist, Birdbooker Report 75: Living the Scientific Life, July, 2009
"The volume is largely made up of commentaries on the skeletal material [...] and includes biogeographic and paleoecologic assessments of faunas. [...] The book contains photographs of many of the systematically important materials [...] . References to previous publications are exhaustively numerous. This is a book for specialists. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and above."
- D. Bardack, Choice, Vol. 47 (3), November, 2009