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Type: Article
Published: 2022-07-20
Page range: 39-50
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A swan-sized fossil anatid (Aves: Anatidae) from the early Miocene St Bathans Fauna of New Zealand

College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, GPO 2100, Adelaide 5001, SA, Australia.
Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch, New Zealand
Earth and Sustainability Science Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
University of Canterbury, School of Earth and Environment, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand.
Earth and Sustainability Science Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
Aves early Miocene fossil waterfowl Anseriformes Manuherikia Group Central Otago


A large fossil anserine-like anatid (Aves, Anatidae, Notochen bannockburnensis gen. et sp. nov.) is described based on a distal humerus from the lower Bannockburn Formation, early Miocene (19–16 Ma), St Bathans Fauna from New Zealand. Its morphology and size suggest that this taxon represents an early swan rather than a goose. Extant anserines are split into Northern and Southern Hemisphere clades. The St Bathans Fauna is known to have the oldest anserines in the Southern Hemisphere, unnamed cereopsines perhaps ancestral to species of Cnemiornis (New Zealand geese). The elongate and flat morphology of the tuberculum supracondylare ventrale of the new species, however, preclude affinities with cereopsines. It is a rare taxon and the eighth anatid represented in the fauna and is the largest known anseriform from the Oligo-Miocene of Australasia. We also reassess other large anatid specimens from the St Bathans Fauna and identify Miotadorna catrionae Tennyson, Greer, Lubbe, Marx, Richards, Giovanardi & Rawlence, 2022 as a junior synonym of Miotadorna sanctibathansi Worthy, Tennyson, Jones, McNamara & Douglas, 2007.



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