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The Fossil History and Phylogenetic Relationships of Condors (Ciconiiformes: Vulturidae) in the New World

Steven D. Emslie
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Vol. 8, No. 2 (Jun. 22, 1988), pp. 212-228
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4523192
Page Count: 17
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The Fossil History and Phylogenetic Relationships of Condors (Ciconiiformes: Vulturidae) in the New World
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Abstract

The fossil record of condors (Ciconiiformes: Vulturidae) in the New World is reviewed with a description of a new species of Gymnogyps from the early Pleistocene (Irvingtonian) of Florida. This new species shared a common ancestor with the California condor, G. californianus, and provides new information on the origin and evolution of condors in North America. A phylogenetic analysis of 39 cranial and postcranial characters indicates that the condors form a monophyletic assemblage with Gymnogyps as a distinct North American genus, and Vultur as a distinct South American genus. Condors probably originated in North America and may have reached South America in the mid Pliocene (Montehermosan) near the beginning of the Great American Interchange.

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