- Isolated feathers (the most common bird fossil from the FBM)
- Isolated feet, wings, and other body parts
- More than 200 skulls and relatively complete skeletons
Fossil Bird Species
Over 30 species of birds, belonging to more than 20 families, have been identified from the Fossil Butte Member (FBM). The bird fossils include:
Shoreline Bird - Pseudocrypturus cercanaxiusOrder Lithornithiformes, Family Lithornithidae
P. cercanaxius had long legs and a long, narrow beak. It was likely a wading bird that inhabited the shoreline of Fossil Lake, using its long beak to search for insects and other invertebrates.
The wing and foot structure suggest that, unlike its living relatives in the superorder Paleognathae, P. cercanaxius was capable of sustained flight and perching.
Land Fowl - Gallinuloides wyomingesisOrder Galliformes, Family Gallinuloidade
The Galliformes order has over 200 living species, divided into 8 families. Most of these species are ground-feeding herbivores, including pheasants, turkeys, chickens, and quails. These species are capable of flight, but are commonly known to run in the escape of a predator.
G. wyomingesis is the oldest known species of the Galliformes order. It was also the first bird species discovered in the FBM.
G. wyomingesis is considered a non-aquatic bird, but it has been found in both near-shore and mid-lake deposits. This indicates that G. wyomingesis may have attempted to fly over Fossil Lake on occasion.
Early Roller - Primobucco mcgrewiOrder Coraciiformes, Family Primobucconidae
Modern members of the Coraciiformes include "true" roller birds. Modern rollers are:
Parrots - 4 Species Identified: Cyrillavis coldurnorum & Cyrillavis olsoni & Avolatavis tenens & Tynskya eocaenaOrder Prittaciformes
Last updated: September 28, 2017