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ⓘ List of fossil bird genera




List of fossil bird genera
                                     

ⓘ List of fossil bird genera

Birds evolved from certain feathered theropod dinosaurs, and there is no real dividing line between birds and dinosaurs, except of course that some of the former survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event while the latter did not. For the purposes of this article, a bird is considered to be any member of the clade Aves sensu lato. Some dinosaur groups which may or may not be true birds are listed below under Proto-birds.

This page contains a listing of prehistoric bird taxa only known from completely fossilized specimens. These extinctions took place before the Late Quaternary and thus took place in the absence of significant human interference. While the earliest hominids had been eating birds and especially their eggs, human population and technology was simply insufficient to seriously affect healthy bird populations until the Upper Paleolithic Revolution. Rather, reasons for the extinctions listed here are stochastic abiotic events such as bolide impacts, climate change due to orbital shifts, mass volcanic eruptions etc. Alternatively, species may have gone extinct due to evolutionary displacement by successor or competitor taxa – it is notable that an extremely large number of seabirds have gone extinct during the in the mid-tertiary, this seems at least partly due to competition by the contemporary radiation of marine mammals.

The relationships of these taxa are often hard to determine, as many are known only from very fragmentary remains and due to the complete fossilization precluding analysis of information from DNA, RNA or protein sequencing. The taxa listed in this article should be classified with the Wikipedia conservation status category "Fossil".

Before the late 19th century, when minerals were still considered one of the kingdoms of binomial nomenclature, fossils were often treated according to a parallel taxonomy. Rather than assigning them to animal or plant genera, they were treated as mineral genera and given binomial names typically using Osteornis "bone-bird" or Ornitholithus "bird fossil" as "genus". The latter name, however, is still in use for an oogenus of fossil bird eggs. Also, other animals in particular pterosaurs were placed in these "genera". In sources pre-dating the Linnean system, the above terms are also seen in the more extensive descriptions used to name taxa back then.

                                     
  • passerine is any bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds or less accurately
  • This list of pterosaurs is a comprehensive listing of all genera that have ever been included in the order Pterosauria, excluding purely vernacular terms
  • the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils This includes the study of body fossils tracks ichnites
  • and the birds that descended from them. Based on fossil and biological evidence, most scientists accept that birds are a specialised subgroup of theropod
  • rails of extant genera are known only from fossil or subfossil remains, such as the Ibiza rail Rallus eivissensis These have not been listed here
  • archosaurs, but this list excludes archosaur genera that are included in Avemetatarsalia pterosaurs, nonavian dinosaurs, and birds The list includes all commonly
  • List of dinosaur genera Fossils of the creature must have been found in India or Madagascar. This list is a complement to Category: Dinosaurs of India

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