Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

More evidence for plesiomorphy of the quadrate in the Eocene anseriform avian genus Presbyornis

Andrzej Elzanowski

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 59 (4), 2014: 821-825 doi:

Evidence from the quadrate morphology in the American specimens of Presbyornis proved inconsistent with the hypothesis of close relationships of this anseriform genus to modern ducks and geese, but some character states remained uncertain. Here I describe in detail two fairly well preserved Presbyornis quadrates from Central Asia, which provide new evidence for the plesiomorphic, galliform-like morphology of this bone among the anseriforms. Most important, and contrary to a recent report, there is no caudomedial foramen that is present in the extant anseriforms. The only pneumatic foramen is in the basiorbital position, which is plesiomorphic for the galloanserines. At least six other plesiomorphic characters of the quadrate consistently suggest that the Presbyornithidae are stem-group anseriforms.

Andrzej Elzanowski [], Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 64 Wilcza Street, PL−00−579 Warszawa, Poland.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (for details please see, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.