FOSSIL RATITE BIRDS OF THE LATE TERTIARY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA By ALDEN H. MILLER, Museum op Paleontology, University of California Fig. 1-2 SUMMARY Two kinds of ratite birds occur in the late Tertiary of the Lake Eyre region of Australia. These fossils are part of the Palankarinna fauna, tentatively referred to the early Pliocene, and were found in the Mampuwordu Sands at. Lake Palankarinna. One specimen is described as a new species of emu, Dromiceius ocypns, which shows foot specialization equivalent to that of the modern emus of the continent. It is a smaller species than the living emu of the area but has foot proportions like the even smaller insular species of Pleistocene and Eecent times. The other specimen is a fragmentary pelvis which is referred to the genus Genyornis. It is equivalent in size to the giant extinct Genyorms neivtoni of tlie Pleistocene. The fossils here reported extend the paleontologie record of the avian families Dromiceiidae and Dromornithidae from the late Pleistocene back to the Pliocene. INTRODUCTION The discovery of Tertiary fossil-bearing deposits in the Lake Eyre basin of South Australia was made known in 1954 by R. A. Stirton. One of the fossil assemblages found was of late Tertiary age and has been tentatively referred to the early Pliocene. It has been designated the Palankarinna fauna (Stirton, Tedford, and Miller, 1961, p. 37). In our preliminary listing of this fauna, a ratite bird was mentioned (p. 38). This may now be described as well as an additional ratite from the same formation that was obtained in the course of the field expedition of 1961. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Work on fossil vertebrates of South Australia has continued to receive the generous support and encouragement of the South



Fossil ratite birds of the late Tertiary of South Australia

Records of The South Australian Museum 14: 413-420 (1963)

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