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 Title Page
 Fossil birds from the Alachua clay...
 Literature cited
 Plate I
 Plate II
 Plate III






Group Title: Contributions to Florida vertebrate paleontology. Paper
Title: Contributions to Florida vertebrate paleontology
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AM00000222/00003
 Material Information
Title: Contributions to Florida vertebrate paleontology
Series Title: Special publication
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida Geological Survey
Publisher: Florida Geological Survey
Place of Publication: Tallahassee
Publication Date: 1956-
Frequency: completely irregular
 Subjects
Subject: Paleontology -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Vertebrates, Fossil   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: No. 1-
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: AM00000222
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 09270575
lccn - a 56009592

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Fossil birds from the Alachua clay of Florida
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Literature cited
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Plate I
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Plate II
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Plate III
        Page 16
        Page 17
Full Text









STATE OF FLORIDA
STATE BOARD OF CONSERVATION
DIVISION OF GEOLOGY

FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Robert O. Vernon, Director





SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 2


CONTRIBUTIONS TO FLORIDA
VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY


PAPER NO. 4


FOSSIL BIRDS FROM THE ALACHUA CLAY OF FLORIDA




By
Pierce Brodkorb
University of Florida





Tallahassee


1963





























90472




















Completed manuscript received
August 10, 1962
Printed by the Florida Geological Survey
Tallahassee


ii











FOSSIL BIRDS FROM


THE ALACHUA CLAY OF FLORIDA

By
Pierce Brodkorb
University of Florida


Discovery of fossil birds inthe Alachua clay of northern
Florida provides the second avifauna attributed to the Plio-
cene in eastern North America, the only previous locality
being the Bone Valley gravel of central Florida (Brodkorb,
1955). The Bone Valley gravel is a marine deposit, but the
Alachua clay, its temporal equivalent, was formed under a
terrestrial or fresh-water environment. It consists of
yellowish clay, with phosphate pebbles, shark teeth, and
ray plates reworked from marine Miocene sediments, along
with a younger terrestrial and fresh-water vertebrate fauna.
The mammals, reptiles, and amphibians of the Alachua
clay have been studied by Simpson (1929, 1930), Auffenberg
(1955, 1957), and Gnin and Auffenberg (1955). In the present
paperbirds are described fromtwo sites inAlachua County,
Florida.

The locality known as Quarry 6 was discovered by the
late J. Clarence Simpson of the Florida Geological Survey.
It is located a little south of the village of Haile and 3. 3
miles northeast of the town of Newberry, in the NISW-
sec. 24, T. 9 S., R. 17 E., 0.2 mile southeast of State
Highway 235, on land owned by R. Saarinen, just north of a
road and railroad spur leading to a limestone quarry. Five
tons ofmatrixfrom Quarry6 that the writer processedunder
cooperative agreement with the Florida Geological Survey
contained a fair vertebrate fauna, including teeth of a lower
Pliocene horse (Hipparion). Remains of six genera of birds
were recovered, but unfortunately only a sparrow is deter-
minable.

1







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


The second locality is situated on the C. C. McGehee
farm, 3.6 miles north of Newberry, in the SW- sec. 15.
T. 9 S., R. 17 E., in a ploughed field just east of U. S.
Highway 41. This locality is being worked by Dr. Clayton
E. Ray of the University of Florida. The fauna includes
rhinoceros (Teleoceras) and horse (Hipparion), as well as
a cormorant, a heron, and a sandpiper.

Preparation of this paper, including the photographs
by Robert W. McFarlane, was aided by grant number G-19595
from the National Science Foundation.


Family PHALACROCORACIDAE Boneparte

Phalacrocorax wetmorei Brodkorb

Phalacrocorax wetmorei Brodkorb, 1955, Florida Geol.
Survey Rept. Inv. 14, p. 12, fig. 10-11 (Bone Valley
gravel, near Brewster, Florida).

Referred material: Proximal half of right ulna,
University of Florida no. 4107, C. C. McGehee farm.

Discussion: A character differentiating this species
from the living P. auritus (Lesson), overlooked in the
original description, is the deepness of the gorge that under-
cuts th'e area distal to the internal cotyla of the ulna and
swings around the prominence for the anterior articular
ligament to reach the brachial depression. This character
is present in the 18 proximal ends of the ulna in the type
series, and it is also pronounced in the present specimen
from the Alachua clay.

As P. wetmorei is hitherto known only from the Bone
Valley, its presence in the Alachua clay provides evidence
of the contemporaneity of the two formations.







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 2 PAPER NO. 4 3


Family ARDEIDAE Vigors

Nycticorax fidens, new species

Plate I

Holotype: Complete left femur, University of Florida
no. 3285. From Alachua clay (Lower Pliocene), at C. C.
McGehee farm, in SW sec. 15, T. 9 S., R. 17 E., 3.6
miles north of Newberry, Alachua County, Florida. Col-
lected by Dow L. Roland, 1959.

Diagnosis: Agrees with Nycticorax Forster in having
femur with (1) iliac facet only slightly concave; (2) head
deflected; (3) insertion of round ligament deep; (4) insertion
of capsular ligament deeply undercutting head; (5) neck
compressed distally; (6) trochanter low; (7) trochanteric
ridge incurved proximally, nearly straight distally; (8) ob-
turator ridge with its distal extension narrow and falling
far short of iliac ridge; (9) posterior face of shaft strongly
depressed below surface of iliac facet, with foramen in
corner near obturator ridge; (10) posterior intermuscular
lines widely separate; (11) anterior intermuscular line run-
ning diagonally from distal internal corner of trochanteric
ridge to internal edge of shaft below level of origin of biceps
loop; (12) posterior border of fibular condyle truncate in
lateral aspect; (13) rotular groove shallow; (14) internal
condyle posteriorly produced, with its upper anterior end
merging gently with shaft.

Differs from living Nycticorax nycticorax (Linnaeus)
in having (1) groove for gluteus profundus short, not reach-
ing level of distal end of scar of obturator externus; (2) pits
for insertion of obturator internus and obturator externus
separate; (3) upper portion of anterior intermuscular line
located more laterally, at edge of shaft as it joins trochanteric
ridge; (4) condyles better developed; (5) internal condyle
with its anterior ridge extending farther proximally than
ridge of external condyle; (6) gastrocnemial shelf of internal
condyle much larger, protruding well from shaft and des-
cending less abruptly into popliteal area; (7) external condyle
with notch for tibialis anticus much deeper.







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Size similar to that of female Nycticorax nycticorax
hoactli (Gmelin) of America. Length, throughtrochanter and
external condyle, 73. 9; proximal width, 12. 3; depth through
trochanter and obturator ridge, 9. 5; least width of shaft,
5.5; width through condyles, 12.7; depth of external condyle,
11.5; depth of internal condyle, 9. 9 mm.

Discussion: Only two herons have been described
previously from this epoch, Ardea polkensis from the Bone
Valley gravel of the Lower Pliocene in Florida (Brodkorb,
1955) and Ardea lignitum from the Braunkohle von Rippers-
roda of the Upper Pliocene in Germany (Giebel, 1860). The
only previously knownfossil species of night heron is Nycti-
corax megacephalus from the Quaternary of Rodriguez Island
(Milne-Edwards, 1873). All these species are much larger
than the bird here described.

The suggestionthat the night heron genera Nyctanassa
Stejneger and Nycticorax Forster should be merged (Bock,
1956) is not supported by this early Pliocene fossil. Its
characters show no approach tothose of Nyctanassa, Syrigma
Ridgway, or Cochlearius Brisson, by some thought to be
related to the night herons (Mayr and Amadon, 1951). The
specific name fidens (Latin, faithful) is proposed in recog-
nition of the constancy of the generic characters.


Family SCOLOPACIDAE Vigors
Ereunetes rayi, new species
Plate II
Holotype: Left coracoid, University of Florida no. 3978.
FromAlachua clay (Lower Pliocene), at C. C. McGehee farm
in SW, sec. 15, T. 9 S., R. 17 E., 3.6 miles north of New-
berry, Alachua County, Florida. Collected by Clayton E.
Ray and J. Howard Hutchinson, January 7, 1961.

Diagnosis: Agrees with Ereunetes Illiger and differs
from Erolia Vieillot in having coracoid with (1) coraco-
humeral surface longer, making head appear to rise at a
sharper angle; (2) juncture of coraco-humeral surface and
glenoid facet smooth, without notch and pointed projection;
(3) base of procoracoid process smoothly joining shaft,


4







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 2 PAPER NO. 4 5

without abrupt inswing of facet for ligamental attachment;
(4) ligamental attachment at lower medial edge of shaft
lengthened.

Differs from both the living species, Ereunetes pusillus
(Linnaeus) and Ereunetes mauri Cabanis, in having coracoid
more than 15 percent longer; (2) notch at lower end of glenoid
facet obsolete; (3) triosseal canal deeper; (4) ligamental facet
at base of procoracoid process obsolete.

Because of damage to both ends of the bone the only
standard measurement that can be taken is the least width
of the shaft, 1.2 mm. The length of the whole fragment,
as preserved, is 10.7 mm. In comparison with the corres-
ponding portion in the living species of Ereunetes, this gives
an estimated original length of the bone of about 14mm., or
about 16-17 percent longer than in the living species.

Discussion: Few sandpipers are known from the
Tertiary of North America. These include three species of
the extinct genus Palaeotringa from the Upper Paleocene of
New Jersey(Marsh, 1870, 1872). Extinct representatives of
living genera are Limosa vanrossemi from the Middle
Miocene of California (L. Miller, 1925), Calidris pacis and
Erolia penepusilla from the Lower Pliocene of Florida
(Brodkorb, 1955), Bartramia umatilla from the Middle
Pliocene of Oregon (Brodkorb, 1958), and Micropalama
hesternus from the Upper Pliocene of Arizona (Wetmore,
1924). All of these differ in generic characters from the
species here described. All of them are much larger, ex-
cept for Erolia penepusilla, which falls in the same size
class with Ereunetes rayi, being larger than living Erolia
minutilla (Vieillot) but smaller than living Erolia bairdii
(Coues) and Erolia fuscicollis (Vieillot).

This new species is named for the collector, Clayton
E. Ray, who has done much to enhance the vertebrate paleon-
tology collections of the University of Florida.







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Family FRINGILLIDAE Vigors

Palaeostruthus eurius, new species

Plate III

Holotype: Distal portion of left tarsometatarsus,
University of Florida, Brodkorb collection no. 8502. From
Alachua clay (Lower Pliocene), at Quarry 6, in SW- sec. 24,
T. 9 S. R. 17 E. a little south of the village of Haile,
Alachua County, Florida. Collected by Pierce Brodkorb,
September 25, 1959.

Diagnosis: Size rather similar to that of living Pipilo
erythrophthalmus (Linnaeus), Oriturus superciliosus (Swain-
son), Zonotrichia querula (Nuttall), and Passerella iliaca
(Merrem). Closest to Pipilo erythrophthalmus, with which
it agrees in having tarsometatarsus with (1) scar of meta-
tarsal one large; (2) inner trochlea slightly longer than
outer trochlea; (3) middle trochlea narrow, with inner rim
decidedly lengthened; (4) outer edge of shaft slightly convex
above trochlea; (5) distal foramen located high on shaft (but
lower than in Zonotrichia querula).

Differs from Pipilo erythrophthalmus, and more widely
from other species of Pipilo, in having (1) inner edge of
shaft smooth, without protuberance in area of metatarsal
one; (2) facet for metatarsal one larger, excavated proxi-
mally and distally nearly to ligamental attachments, excavated
laterally almost in line with lateral border of middle trochlea
and distal foramen; (3) trochleae more adpressed; (4) inner
trochlea less flaring medially, its inner face only slightly
excavated, its plantar face sloping more abruptly, and its
distal groove shallower; (5)lateral trochlea with its plantar
corner more angular; (6) outer side of shaft deeper antero-
posteriorly above level of distal foramen.

Width through trochleae, 2.5; width of middle trochlea,
0. 9; width of shaft at metatarsal scar, 1. 5; height of scar
of proximal metatarsal ligament from distal end of inner
trochlea, 5.0 mm.







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 2 PAPER NO. 4 7

Discussion: The Fringillidae form one of the largest
families of birds today, but they probably were unimportant
until the mid-Tertiary expansion of the grasslands (Brod-
korb, 1960). Only two Tertiary species are known, Palaeo-
struthus hatcheri (Shufeldt) and Fringilla radoboyensis Meyer
(1865). The latter, from the Upper Miocene diatomaceous
beds of Yugoslavia, is of uncertain affinities (Lambrecht,
1933).

Palaeostruthushatcheri was based on a rostrum from
Quarry E, Long Island, Phillips County, Kansas. It was
provisionally named Palaeospiza hatcheri and figured but
not described by Shufeldt (1913). The type was restudied
by Wetmore (1925), who erected the genus Palaeostruthus
for it and found its closest agreement with Pipilo. As the
Kansas and Florida fossils are not directly comparable but
are both closest to Pipilo, the Florida species is likewise
referred to Palaeostruthus. It is a larger bird than P.
hatcheri.

The horizon of P. hatcheri was originally given as
Lower Pliocene (Shufeldt, 1913), later as Miocene (Wet-
more, 1925, 1931; Lambrecht, 1933), and still later as
Middle Pliocene (Wetmore, 1956). However, Quarry E is
in the so-called Republican River formation, and its fauna
includes the Lower Pliocene rhinoceros, Teleoceras fossiger
(Hay, 1930, p. 359; Gilmore, 1938, p. 63-64). The Repub-
lican River formation is now considered to represent the
Lower Pliocene portion of the Ogallala formation (Wilmarth,
1957). It would thus seem that the horizon of P. hatcheri
is likewise Lower Pliocene as originally indicated.

The specific name eurius is an adjectival form of the
Greek noun Euros, southeast wind.










SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 2 PAPER NO. 4


LITERATURE CITED


Auffenberg,
1955


Walter (also see Goin, Coleman J.)
Glass lizards (Ophisaurus) in the Pleisto-
cene and Pliocene of Florida: Herpetologica,
v. 11, p. 133-136, fig. 1.


1957 A new species of Bufo from the Pliocene of
Florida: Florida Acad. Sci. Quart. Jour.,
v. 20, p. 14-20, fig. 1-2.

Amadon, Dean (see Mayr, Ernst)

Bock, Walter J.
1956 A generic review of the family Ardeidae
(Aves): Am. Mus. Novitates, no. 1779,
p. 1-49.


Brodkorb,
1955


Pierce
The avifauna of the Bone Valley formation:
Florida Geol. Survey Rept. Inv. 14, p. 1-57,
pl. 1-11.


1958 Birds from the Middle Pliocene of McKay,
Oregon: Condor, v. 60, p. 252-255, fig. 1.

1960 How many species of birds have existed:
Florida State Mus. Bull. 5, p. 41-53.


Giebel, C.
1860


G. A.
Zur Fauna der Braunkohlenformation von
Rippersroda in Thiiringen: Zeitschr. f. ges.
Naturwiss.., v. 16, p. 152, pl. 1.


Gilmore, Charles W.
1938 The fossil snakes of North America: Geol.
Soc. America Spec. Paper 9, p..1-96, fig. 1-
38.

Goin, Coleman J.
1955 (and Auffenberg, Walter) The fossil sala-
manders of the family Sirenidae: Harvard
Coll. Mus. Comp. Zoology Bull. v. 113,p. 497-
514, fig. 1-3.


9







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Hay, Oliver Perry
1930 Second bibliography and catalogue of the fossil
vertebrata of North America: Carnegie Inst.
Washington Pub. 390, v. 2, p. i-xiv, 1-1074.

Lambrecht, Kalman
1933 Handbuch der Palaeornithologie: Berlin,
Gebrlider Borntraeger, p. i-xx, 1-1024,fig. 1-
209.

Marsh, O. C.
1870 Notice of some fossil birds, from the Creta-
ceous and Tertiary formations of the United
States: Am. Jour. Sci., ser.2, v.49, p. 205-
217.

1872 Preliminary description of Hesperornis
regalis, with notices of four other new species
of Cretaceous birds: Am. Jour. Sci., ser. 3,
v. 3, p. 360-365.


Mayr, Ernst
1951


(and Amadon, Dean) A classification of recent
birds: Am. Mus. Novitates, no. 1496, p.1-
42.


Meyer, Hermann Von
1865 Fossile Vtgel von Radoboy und Oeningen:
Palaeontographica, v.14, p. 125-126, pl. 30.


Miller, Loye
1925


Avian remains from the Miocene of Lompoc,
California: Carnegie Inst. Washington Pub.
349, p. 107-117, pl. 1-9, text-fig. 1.


Milne-Edwards, Alphonse
1873 Recherches sur la faune ancienne des Iles
Mascareignes: Bibl. Ecole Haut Etud. ,Sect.
Sci. Nat., v. 9, art. 3, p. 8-12, pl. 14.

Shufeldt, R. W.
1913 Further studies of fossil birds with descrip-
tions of new and extinct species: Am. Mus.







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 2 PAPER NO. 4


Nat. Hist. Bull., v. 32, p. 285-306, pl. 51-
59.

Simpson, George Gaylord
1929 The extinct land mammals of Florida: Florida
Geol. Survey 20th Ann. Rept., p. 229-279,
pl. 30-40, text-fig. 1-4.

1930 Tertiary land mammals of Florida: Am. Mus.
Nat. Hist. Bull., v. 59, p. 149-211, fig. 1-31.

Wetmore, Alexander
1924 Fossil birds from southeastern Arizona: U. S.
Nat. Mus. Proc. 64, art. 5, p. 1-18, fig. 1-9.

1925 The systematic position of Palaeospiza bella
Allen, with observations on other fon sil birds:
Harvard Coll. Mus. Comp. Zoology Bull.,
v. 67, p. 183-193, pl. 1-4, text fig. 1-4.

1931 The fossil birds of North America: InAmer-
ican Ornithologists' Union, check-list of
North American birds, ed. 4, p. 401-472.

1956 A check-list of the fossil and prehistoric birds
of North America and the West Indies: Smith-
sonian Misc. Coll., v. 131, no. 5, p.1-105.

Wilmarth, M. Grace
1957 Lexicon of geologic names of the United States
(including Alaska): U. S. Geol. Survey Bull.
896, p. 1-2396.

























Plate I

Nycticorax fidens, n. sp. Holotype left femur (actual length
73. 9 mm. ). A, anterior view; B, posterior view.





SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 2, PAPER NO. 4


1'


A


A


13


B


























Plate II


Ereunetes rayi, n. sp. Holotype left coracoid (actual length
as preserved, 10. 7 mm.). A, anterior view; B, posterior
view.




SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 2, PAPER NO. 4 15







A B





A B






















Plate III

Paleostruthus eruius, n. sp. Holotype left tarsometatarsus
(actual length as preserved, 6. 1 mm. ). A, anterior view;
B, posterior view.






SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 2, PAPER NO. 4


A.B
r r






4:4





-w






A B


17




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