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An ostrich from the late Miocene of Kerassia (1 Viewer)

Fred Ruhe

Well-known member
Panagiotis Kampouridis, Dimitrios Michailidis, Nikolaos Kargopoulos, Socrates Roussiakis & Georgios Theodorou, 2020

First description of an ostrich from the late Miocene of Kerassia (Euboea, Greece): remarks on its cervical anatomy

Historical Biology (advance online publication)
doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/08912963.2020.1779252


The present study describes an almost complete cervical region of the fossil ostrich Struthio karatheodoris from the Turolian locality of Kerassia (Euboea, Greece). The material comes from two distinct fossiliferous horizons and consists of twelve cervical vertebrae, ten of which belong to the same individual. These specimens are the first remains of a large flightless bird from Kerassia and represent some of the very few findings of the genus Struthio in the sub-Paratethyan (Balkan-Iranian) bioprovince from the late Miocene. The morphology of the cervical vertebrae implies that the neck of S. karatheodoris had similar biomechanical properties to that of extant ostriches, pointing to similar ecological adaptations, relating to food procurement. However, it probably had a more flexible and stronger neck, which might indicate a somewhat different ecology. Furthermore, considerable intraspecific size and morphological variation of the cervical vertebrae of S. karatheodoris is observed. This signifies that S. karatheodoris was not necessarily larger than S. camelus as previously suspected, but their size ranges in fact overlap significantly.



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