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|Title:||A new species of extinct little owl from the Pleistocene of Mallorca (Balearic Islands)|
|Citation:||Journal of Ornithology, 2012; 153(2):347-354|
|Carmen Guerra, Pere Bover, Josep Antoni Alcover|
|Abstract:||Athene vallgornerensis nov.sp. (Aves: Strigiformes: Strigidae) from the Early Pleistocene of the island of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean) is described. The material came from a fossil assemblage obtained in a collapsed gallery from Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (Llucmajor, south of Mallorca), the longest karstic system currently known in the Balearics. Associated remains include primitive representatives of the insular endemic fauna of Mallorca (Myotragus, Hypnomys, Nesiotites), as well as fossils of bats, birds (among them, Tyto balearica), lizards and toads. Although only two bones of Athene have been obtained, its highly distinctive tarsometatarsus—short, highly robust and significantly small—differentiates it from the remaining extant and extinct Athene species from the Palaearctic, justifying its description as a new species. At least four insular species of Athene are now known from the Mediterranean area, and two groups can be identified according to the shape of their tarsometatarsi.|
|Keywords:||Athene vallgornerensis nov.sp.; Balearic Islands; Early Pleistocene; tarsometatarsus; fossil strigiformes|
|Rights:||© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2011|
|Appears in Collections:||Genetics publications|
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