Gruoidea Trumpeters Limpkins and Cranes

The Psophiidae, Aramidae, and Gruidae share pneumatic openings on the sternal extremity of the coracoid, a notarium, and a prominent tubercle near the supratendi-nal bridge of the tibiotarsus. As detailed in Chap. 3, a clade including these three taxa was congruently obtained in recent phylogenetic analyses of molecular data.

The South American Psophiidae have no Paleogene fossil record. Mayr and Mourer-Chauvire (2006a) described a trumpeter-like coracoid from an unknown horizon of the Quercy fissure fillings, which agrees with the corresponding bone of modern Psophiidae in the presence of a marked crest along the medial side of the shaft and pneumatic openings on the sternal extremity (Fig. 9.4). The specimen is, however, from a species which was much smaller than any extant trumpeter, and cannot be referred to this group of birds with confidence.

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