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  • Messelornis christata HESSE, 1989


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    • It is my pleasure to quote Auspex:
      "Messelornis is often incorrectly referred to as the "Messel Rail". Although rails are in the same order (Gruiformes, along with the cranes), its closest living relative is the Sunbittern of the American tropics.

      There are four named species (of two genera) in the family Messelornithidae: Messelornis cristata (only from Messel), M. nearctica (from the Eocene Green River Fm., USA), M. russelli (from the Paleocene of France), and Itardiornis hessae (from the Late Eocene-Early Oligocene fissure-fillings in Quercy, France).

      According to Gerald Meyer in Paleocene Fossil Birds, there are over 500 specimens of M. cristata known from the Messel pit, constituting roughly half of the bird fossils found there. Interestingly, no juvenile specimens are known from there, which suggests that they did not nest nearby."

       

      Would need some prepping - there is still a sand limonite layer on top of the bones.

       

      Lit.:

      Angelika Hesse (1988): Die Messelornithidae - eine neue Familie der Kranichartigen (Aves: Gruiformes: Rhynocheti) aus dem Tertiär Europas und Nordamerikas. In: Journal für Ornithologie, 129 (1): 83-95; Berlin.
       

      Angelika Hesse (1990): Die Beschreibung der Messelornithidae (Aves: Gruiformes: Rhynocheti) aus dem Alttertiär Europas und Nordamerikas. Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft. ISBN 9783924500672
       

      Gerald Mayr (2009): Paleogene Fossil Birds. Springer. ISBN 9783540896272


      Michael MORLO (2004) Diet of Messelornis (Aves: Gruiformes), an Eocene bird from Germany. Cour. Forsch.-Inst. Senckenberg  252 pp 29 – 33

    Taxonomy

    "Messel Rail"

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Aves
    Order: Gruiformes
    Family: Messelornithidae
    Genus: Messelornis
    Species: M. christata
    Author Citation HESSE, 1989

    Geological Time Scale

    Eon: Phanerozoic
    Era: Cenozoic
    Period: Paleogene
    Epoch: Eocene
    International Age: Lutetian, Lower Geiseltalian

    Stratigraphy

    Messel Formation

    Provenance

    Collector: T. Bastelberger
    Date Collected: 06/01/1968
    Acquired by: Field Collection

    Location

    Grube Messel
    Messel near Darmstadt
    Hessia
    Germany

    Comments

    It is my pleasure to quote Auspex:
    "Messelornis is often incorrectly referred to as the "Messel Rail". Although rails are in the same order (Gruiformes, along with the cranes), its closest living relative is the Sunbittern of the American tropics.

    There are four named species (of two genera) in the family Messelornithidae: Messelornis cristata (only from Messel), M. nearctica (from the Eocene Green River Fm., USA), M. russelli (from the Paleocene of France), and Itardiornis hessae (from the Late Eocene-Early Oligocene fissure-fillings in Quercy, France).

    According to Gerald Meyer in Paleocene Fossil Birds, there are over 500 specimens of M. cristata known from the Messel pit, constituting roughly half of the bird fossils found there. Interestingly, no juvenile specimens are known from there, which suggests that they did not nest nearby."

     

    Would need some prepping - there is still a sand limonite layer on top of the bones.

     

    Lit.:

    Angelika Hesse (1988): Die Messelornithidae - eine neue Familie der Kranichartigen (Aves: Gruiformes: Rhynocheti) aus dem Tertiär Europas und Nordamerikas. In: Journal für Ornithologie, 129 (1): 83-95; Berlin.
     

    Angelika Hesse (1990): Die Beschreibung der Messelornithidae (Aves: Gruiformes: Rhynocheti) aus dem Alttertiär Europas und Nordamerikas. Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft. ISBN 9783924500672
     

    Gerald Mayr (2009): Paleogene Fossil Birds. Springer. ISBN 9783540896272


    Michael MORLO (2004) Diet of Messelornis (Aves: Gruiformes), an Eocene bird from Germany. Cour. Forsch.-Inst. Senckenberg  252 pp 29 – 33



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