Continental Avifaunas of the Northern Hemisphere

The pre-Oligocene avifauna of Europe and North America includes many archaic forms, which are morphologically clearly distinguished from modern bird groups. No crown group representatives of extant family-level taxa are known from Eocene or earlier fossil sites (Mayr 2005a), although some early Eocene taxa are morphologically very similar to their extant relatives, such as Scaniacypselus and crown group swifts (Apodidae), Plesiocathartes and the extant Courol (Leptosomidae), and Eocoracias and modern rollers (Coraciidae and Brachypteraciidae).

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