Schlagwort-Archive: Galliformes

Fossil record of the Galliformes

Family incertae sedis

Archaealectrornis sibleyi Crowe & Short

Archaeophasianus mioceanus Lambrecht
Archaeophasianus roberti (Stone)

Argillipes aurorum Harrison & Walker
Argillipes paralectoris Harrison & Walker

Austinornis lentus Marsh

Bumbanipodius magnus Zelenkov [3]

Bumbanortyx transitoria Zelenkov [3]

Chambiortyx cristata Mourer-Chauviré

Coturnipes cooperi Harrison & Walker

Namaortyx sperrgebietensis Mourer-Chauviré

Palaeonossax senectus Wetmore

Palaeorallus alienus Kuročkin

Sobniogallus albinojamrozi Tomek et al.

Procrax brevipes Tordoff & Macdonald


Boreortalis laesslei Brodkorb

Ortalis affinis Feduccia & Wilson


Gallinuloides wyomingensis Eastman

Paraortygoides messelensis Mayr
Paraortygoides radagasti Dyke & Gulas


Garrdimalga mcnamarai Shute, Prideaux & Worthy

Latagallina naracoortensis Shute, Prideaux & Worthy
Latagallina olsoni Shute, Prideaux & Worthy

Progura campestris Shute, Prideaux & Worthy
Progura gallinacea De Vis

Ngawupodius minya Boles & Ivison


Telecrex grangeri Wetmore


Cyrtonyx tedfordi Miller

Miortyx aldeni Howard
Miortyx teres Miller

Nanortyx inexpectatus Weigel

Neortyx peninsularis Holman


Paraortyx brancoi Gaillard
Paraortyx lorteti Gaillard

Pirortyx major (Gaillard)

Scopelortyx klinghardtensis Mourer-Chauvire et al.

Taoperdix miocaena Ballman
Taoperdix pessieti Gervais

Xorazmortyx turkestanensis Zelenkov & Panteleyev


Alectoris baryosefi Černov
Alectoris peii Author ?
“Alectoris” pliocaena Tugarinov

Bantamyx georgicus Kurochkin

Bonasa praebonasia (Jánossy)

Chauvireria bulgarica Boev [1]

Dendragapus gilli (Shufeldt)
Dendragapus lucasi Howard
Dendragapus nanus (Shufeldt)

Diangallus mious Hou

Eurobambusicola turolicus Zelenkov

“Gallus” aesculapii Jánossy
“Gallus” beremendensis Jánossy
“Gallus” europaeus Harrison
Gallus georgicus Author ?
Gallus imereticus Author ?
Gallus karabachensis Baryšnikov & Potapova
Gallus kudarensis Burčak-Abramovič & Potapova
Gallus meschtscheriensis Author ?
Gallus sp. ‘Trinka Cave, Moldovia’
Gallus sp. ‘Krivtcha Cave, Ukraine’
Gallus tamanensis Author ?

Lagopus atavus Jánossy
Lagopus balcanicus Boev
Lagopus lagopus ssp. noaillensis Mourer-Chauviré
Lagopus mutus ssp. correzensis Mourer-Chauviré

Linquornis gigantis Yeh

Lophogallus naranbulakensis Zelenkov & Kurochkin

Megalocoturnix cordoni Sánchez Marco

Meleagris altus Marsh
Meleagris californica (Miller)
Meleagris celer Marsh
Meleagris leopoldi Miller & Bowman
Meleagris richmondi Shufeldt
Meleagris tridens Wetmore

Miophasianus altus Milne-Edwards
Miophasianus desnoyersi Milne-Edwards
Miophasianus medius Milne-Edwards

Mioryaba magyarica Zelenkov

Palaeocryptonyx depereti Gaillard
Palaeocryptonyx donnezani Deperet
Palaeocryptonyx gaillardi Ennouchi
Palaeocryptonyx grivensis Ennouchi

Palaeoperdix longipes Milne-Edwards
Palaeoperdix prisca Milne-Edwards
Palaeoperdix sansaniensis Milne-Edwards

Palaeortyx blanchardi Milne-Edwards
Palaeortyx brevipes Milne-Edwards
Palaeortyx caluxyensis Lydekker
Palaeortyx depereti Ennouchi
Palaeortyx edwardsi Depéret
Palaeortyx gaillardi Lambrecht
Palaeortyx gallica Milne-Edwards
Palaeortyx grivensis Lydekker
Palaeortyx intermedia Ballman
Palaeortyx joleaudi Ennouchi
Palaeortyx major Gaillard
Palaeortyx maxima Lydekker
Palaeortyx media Milne-Edwards
Palaeortyx miocaena Gaillard
Palaeortyx ocyptera Milne-Edwards
Palaeortyx phasianoides Milne-Edwards
Palaeortyx volans Gohlich & Pavia

Panraogallus hezhengensis Li et. al.

Pavo bravardi (Gervais)
Pavo moldovicus (Bocheński & Kurochkin)
Pavo sp. ‘Aramis, Ethiopia’

Pediocetes lucasi Shufeldt
Pediocetes nanus Shufeldt

Perdix palaeoperdix Mourer-Chauviré

Phasianus bulgaricus Boev [2]

Plioperdix hungarica Jánossy

Proagriocharis kimballensis Martin & Tate

Rhegminornis calobates Wetmore

Rustaviornis georgicus Burchak-Abramovich & Meladze

Schaubortyx keltica Eastman

Shandongornis shanwangensis Yeh
Shandongornis yinanensis Yeh

Shanxiornis fenyinis Wang et al.

Syrmaticus phasianoides (Jánossy)

Tetrao conjugens Jánossy
Tetrao macropus Jánossy
Tetrao partium (Kretzoi)
Tetrao praeurogallus Jánossy
Tetrao rhodopensis Boev

Tologuica aurorae Zelenkov & Kurochkin
Tologuica karhui Zelenkov & Kurochkin

“Tympanuchus” lulli Shufeldt
“Tympanuchus” stirtoni Miller


Ameripodius alexis Mourer-Chauviré
Ameripodius silvasantosi Alvarenga

Ludiortyx hoffmanni (Gervais)

Quercymegapodius brodkorbi Mourer-Chauviré
Quercymegapodius depereti (Gaillard)

Taubacrex granivora Alvarenga


Note that this list is far from being complete.



[1] Zlatozae Boev: Chauvireria bulgarica sp. n. — an extinct Early Pleistocene small phasianid of Phasianinae Horsfield, 1821 from Bulgaria. Historia naturalis bulgarica 41(8): 55-70. 2020
[2] Zlatozar Boev: First European Neogene record of true pheasants from Gorna Sushitsa (SW Bulgaria). Historia naturalis bulgarica 41(5): 33-39. 2020
[3] N. V. Zelenkov: New bird taxa (Aves: Galliformes, Gruiformes) from the early Eocene of Mogolia. Paleontological Journal 545(4). 2021


edited: 04.07.2021

Saca, Sasa and Yasaca

P. H. Bahr in the year 1912 quotes a Dr. B. Glanvill Corney, at that time Chief Medical Officer in the Fiji Islands.:  

There is, or was until eight or ten years ago, a bird in the interior and northern coast of Vitilevu called the ‘Sasa’; described as having speckled plumage and running along the ground among reeds, cane-brakes, and undergrowth. … The Sasa did not fly, and seems to have been a mound-builder. I once met with some dogs in a remote mountain village that the natives had specially trained to hunt the Sasa, which they described as Koli dankata sasa, i. e. Sasa-catching dogs; but I never succeeded in seeing a Sasa, nor did my friend Mr. Frank R. S. Baxendale, who, as Assistant Resident Commissioner in the hill districts, lived for more than a year in the Sasa country. His successor, Mr. Georgius Wright, however, had several living specimens in his possession for some time, and told me that he considered they were Megapodes of the same or of an allied species to those met with in the island of Ninafou [Niuafo’ou] (Boscawen Island) and in Samoa. Some natives linkened them to Guinea-fowl, but said they were not so large as the latter, and that they laid a single egg. Between the years 1876 and 1905 they were still comparatively common and well known in the locality mentioned (where there are only a very few Europeans).” [1]


What follows is an account by Rollo H. Beck, an American ornithologist, who quotes some notes that he received by a Mr. G. T. Barker on June 5, 1925, during a stay on the island of Viti Levu, Fiji.: 

Saca Megapode

On the Tova Estate (Viti Levu Bay) one day, as I was riding toward the Wainibaka River, I heard a zooming noise on the rocks at my right. I dismounted to ascertain, if possible, what it was, as the place which had no trees, ws such an unusual one for a pigeon. The note, too, was different, having a more vibrant tone.
Grawling twenty feet along a runway but keeping myself hidden I came upon an abandoned clearing covered with short grass. The bird was about tne yards away. It ws slightly smaller than an English game rooster, had an aggressive head with yellow beak, and a stumpy tail. The coloring which was the same on the head as on the body was a mixed yellow, approaching red, and dingy black.
The bird continued its calling for a few minutes, and was answered from the far end of the clearing. Suddenly it took alarm, and as it flew out of the clearing I saw that under the rudimentary wings there were no yellow feathers. The wings had no long feathers made a whirring sound when the birds flew. I also noticed that its legs were stout, of yellow color, and that the foot had three toes. On questioning the natives, I was told that about sixty years ago there was a great area of grass country in that part, owing probably to a denser population, and also to the fact that the people were more industrious. At that time they used to hunt the bird with dogs and would secure up to fifty in a day. Even up to the coming of the mongoose, hese birds were still hunted, but owing to the spreading of the reeds over the country the catch became small.
The birds nested, generally, under the shelter of the dead leaves of the tree fern, never out in the open, and the birds used to take turns sitting on the nest. The natives described the eggs as being white, quite round, generally one, but on rare occasions, two in a nest. They used to hunt for the eggs, and when all hands were out, as many as a hundred a day would be secured. The eggs were hatched under hens in the village, but the saca always went back to the grass and would not remain in the town.
About two years after I had seen the bird, a dependable native who had hunted the birds in his youth, told me that he had seen a pair about two miles away from The place where I had observed them. Twenty was the largest number that had been observed in one flock.
The natives said that the flesh of the saca was dark, and always lean. Its wings seem to have been of some use for the bird is called in that part „the bird that lands on eight hillocks before being cought.“
The annual rainfall in that region averages ninety inches.
“ [2]

In my humble opinion this whole description, except for the nesting behaviour, sounds a lot like the description of a species of megapode (Megapodius sp.). 


This bird I have never seen, but from all accounts it differs from the saca. First it was called „Nasataudrau“, literally, „in hundreds“, meaning that a flock would be of about one hundred. It was said of them hat they buried their eggs for the sun to hatch out.
“ [2]

The rest seems to come directly from Mr. Beck.: 

Personally, I am doubtful if this bird ever existed in Fiji. I remember of asking a Sabeto Chief in the year 1890 if he had ever seen one – Sabeto, to the Segatoka River, being the region where the ordinary „saca“ was most plentiful. This chief was then a man over sixty years old; now add on the thirty-five years since that time – ninety five years ago, and he had never seen yasaca. He had only heard the trdition in his youth.
I am inclined to believe that the natives of this region brought the tale whith them from the Solomon Islands, where megapodes still are found. See, „A Naturalist Amongst the Head Hunters“ by Woodward. Mr. A. Barker has a copy of this book. There is a remarkable similarity of language between that part of the Solomons and Fiji, hence the tradition.
“ [2]


It is now well known that the Fiji Islands indeed were inhabited by at least two species of megapode, the Consumed Scrubfowl (Megapodius alimentum Steadman) and the Viti Levu Megapodius (Megapodius amissus Worthy). [3]

It is not really known when exactly these species disappeared; the abovementioned accounts, however, show that at least one of the species survived well into quite modern times.



[1] P. H. Bahr: On a Journey to the Fiji Islands, with Notes on the present Status of their Avifauna, made during a Year’s Stay in the Group, 1910-1911. The Ibis 9(6): 282-313. 1912
[2] Whitney South Sea Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History. Extracts from the journal of Rollo H. Beck. Vol. 2, Dec. 1923 – Aug. 1925
[3] T. H. Worthy: The fossil megapodes (Aves: Megapodiidae) of Fiji with descriptions of a new genus and two new species. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 30(4): 337-364. 2000


edited: 30.07.2020

A Fijian quail?

Was there formerly a quail species living on the Fijian Islands?

Well, here is an account by Rollo H. Beck, an American ornithologist, who quotes some notes that he received by a Mr. G. T. Barker on June 5, 1925, during a stay on the island of Viti Levu, Fiji.: 

Moa (Quail)

It is commonly said, by whites, that quail are the offspring of imported birds, but this cannot be so for I have tales that run back for hundreds of years mentioning this bird. A Mr. Coster who was one of the first white settlers on the Island of Koro said that quail were present in great numbers when he arrived there and this was many years back.
“ [1]

Indeed, there was a quail species living on the Fijian Islands, and it still does, because this account clearly refers to the Brown Quail (Synoicus ypsilophorus ssp. australis (Latham)) (see photo), an Australian species that was introduced to the Fijian Islands sometimes in the early 1900s.

The species is commonly called moa on the islands, it was introduced at least to the islands of Makogai, Vanua Levu, and Viti Levu; it is, however, now apparently restricted to the (artificial) grasslands of Vanua- and Viti Levu. [2]


Photo: Christopher Watson

(under creative commons license (3.0))



[1] Whitney South Sea Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History. Extracts from the journal of Rollo H. Beck. Vol. 2, Dec. 1923 – Aug. 1925
[2] Edward Narayan: Troublesome birds of Fiji Islands. Lulu, Inc. 2014


edited: 29.07.2020

Hezheng-Fasan – Panraogallus hezhengensis Li et. al.

Der Hezheng-Fasan wurde im Jahr 2018 beschrieben, er war sehr nah mit den heutigen Fasanen verwandt.

Das einzige bisher bekannte Fossil ist bemerkenswert da bei ihm die Trochlea erhalten geblieben ist, was darauf hindeutet, dass der Vogel zu Lebzeiten recht stimmgewaltig gewesen sein muss (ganz wie heutige Fasanenarten)

Rekonstruktion; ich habe allerdings die Sporen vergessen, die beim Fossil sehr gut zu erkennen sind



[1] Zhiheng Li; Julia A. Clarke; Chad M. Eliason; Thomas A. Stidham; Tao Deng & Zhonghe Zhou: Vocal specialization through tracheal elongation in an extinct Miocene pheasant from China. Scientific Reports 8(1): 1-12. 2018


bearbeiten: 02.02.2019