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A Fossil Scrub-Jay Supports a Recent Systematic Decision

Steven D. Emslie
The Condor
Vol. 98, No. 4 (Nov., 1996), pp. 675-680
DOI: 10.2307/1369850
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1369850
Page Count: 6
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A Fossil Scrub-Jay Supports a Recent Systematic Decision
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Abstract

Nine fossil premaxillae and mandibles of the Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) are reported from a late Pliocene sinkhole deposit at Inglis 1A, Citrus County, Florida. Vertebrate biochronology places the site within the latest Pliocene (2.0 to 1.6 million years ago, Ma) and more specifically at 2.01-1.87 Ma. The fossils are similar in morphology to living Florida Scrub-Jays in showing a relatively shorter and broader bill compared to western species, a presumed derived character for the Florida species. The recent elevation of the Florida Scrub-Jay to species rank is supported by these fossils by documenting the antiquity of the species and its distinct bill morphology in Florida.

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