Nauka dla Społeczeństwa

05.11.2014 aktualizacja 05.11.2014

New species of prehistoric bird discovered

Photo by Z. M. Bocheński Photo by Z. M. Bocheński

It lived 29 million years ago and was the size of today\'s grouse: the newly discovered species of bird has been named Sobniogallus albinojamrozi. This is the first known species of galliform - a fowl from the Oligocene period in the area of today\'s Poland.

"A large part of a fossilized skeleton of the bird has been preserved to this day. Unfortunately, the bones of the legs and head are not preserved, so we can not say anything specific about the life of the described bird" - explained Prof. Zbigniew M. Bocheński from the Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals PAS, member of the team that described the find.

Despite this, the researchers determined that the bird was so different from contemporary and fossil fowls that they assigned it to a new genus (Sobniogallus). The newly described species confirms, according to the researchers, that the birds inhabiting the Central and Eastern Europe varied significantly already in the Paleogene - Lower Tertiary period.

The name of the newly discovered bird species - Sobniogallus albinojamrozi comes from the place of specimen discovery (formerly the village Sobniów, now part of Jasło) and its taxonomic position "gallus", which indicates the bird similar to the chicken. The second part refers to the finder’s name, Albin Jamróz from Rzeszów. This is the second Polish Oligocene bird, whose fossil he discovered and made available to science.

The remaining members of the team that described the discovery were Dr. Teresa Tomek and Krzysztof Wertz z from the Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animal PAS and Ewa Świdnicka from the Department of Palaeozoology, University of Wroclaw.

The latest discovery has been described and published in the prestigious international palaeontological journal Palaeontologia Electronica. The article is available on the journal\'s website, where you can read it online or download a PDF version.

PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland, Szymon Zdziebłowski

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