Palaelodus

Name: Palaelodus.
Phonetic: Pal-ay-o-dus.
Named By: Milne-Edwards‭ ‬-‭ ‬1863.
Synonyms: Probalearica,‭ ‬Paloelodus,‭ ‬Palaeolodus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Aves,‭ ‬Phoenicopteriformes,‭ ‬Palaelodidae.
Species: P.‭ ‬ambiguus‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬aotearoa,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬crassipes‭?‬,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬germanicus,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬gracilipes‭?‬,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬pledgei,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬wilsoni.
Diet: Filter feeder of aquatic animals.
Size: Up to‭ ‬150‭ ‬centimetres high.
Known locations: Australia‭?‬.‭ ‬Czech Republic.‭ ‬Egypt‭ ‬-‭ ‬Jebel Qatrani Formation.‭ ‬New Zealand.
Time period: Rupelian of the‭ ‬Oligocene through to the Burdigalian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Many individuals.

       Palaelodus is the type genus of‭ ‬the‭ ‬Palaelodidae,‭ ‬a sister group to the birds that we today know as flamingos.‭ ‬Though perceived to be flamingo-like,‭ ‬Palaelodus is also noted as being primitive in form to the point that it may have actually swum through the water instead of only wading through it.‭ ‬The beak of Palaelodus is also noted as being not as well formed for filtering out small animals from the water as what modern flamingos have.‭ ‬Although Palaelodus is not a direct relative to modern flamingos,‭ ‬the genus still gives us a valuable insight into how flamingos evolved,‭ ‬possibly from grebes.
       There have been many species assigned to the Palaelodus species,‭ ‬though some such as P.‭ ‬crassipes and P.‭ ‬gracilipes have been questioned.‭ ‬Two species named from Australia,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬pledgei and P.‭ ‬wilsoni,‭ ‬have also had there validity questioned given that they have been named from so far away from other known Palaelodus species,‭ ‬with the addition that P.‭ ‬wilsoni‭ ‬meaning the genus‭ ‬would have lived many millions of years after all the other known species went extinct.‭ ‬An additional species of the genus Megapaloelodus,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬goliath,‭ ‬is also often considered to be more similar to Palaelodus than to Megapaloelodus,‭ ‬though birds of this species are significantly larger than other Palaelodus species.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Palaelodus‭ (‬Aves:‭ ‬Palaelodidae‭) ‬from the Middle to Late Cainozoic of Australia.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Alcheringa‭ ‬22:‭ ‬135‭–‬151.‭ ‬-‭ ‬R.‭ ‬F.‭ ‬baird‭ & ‬P.‭ ‬Vickers-Rich‭ ‬-‭ ‬1998.
-‭ ‬Morphological evidence for sister group relationship between flamingos‭ (‬Aves:‭ ‬Phoenicopteridae‭) ‬and grebes‭ (‬Podicipedidae‭)‬.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society‭ ‬140‭ (‬2‭)‬:‭ ‬157‭–‬169.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Gerald Mayr‭ ‬-‭ ‬2004.
-‭ ‬First Record of Palaelodus‭ (‬Aves:‭ ‬Phoenicopteriformes‭) ‬from New Zealand.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Records of the Australian Museum Vol.‭ ‬62:‭ ‬77‭–‬88.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Trevor H.‭ ‬Worthy,‭ ‬Alan J.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Tennyson,‭ ‬Michael Archer‭ & ‬R.‭ ‬Paul Scofield‭ ‬-‭ ‬2010.



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