Australian fossil pigeon discovery

This video is called Richard Dawkins – Proof of evolution Pigeons.

From the Emu:

A phabine pigeon (Aves: Columbidae) from Oligo-Miocene Australia

Trevor H. Worthy

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Darling Building, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia. Email:

Emu 112(1) 23-31
Submitted: 2 August 2011 Accepted: 8 November 2011 Published: 24 February 2012


A fossil coracoid from Late Oligocene deposits at Riversleigh, north-western Queensland, is described as a new genus and species of pigeon (Aves : Columbidae), which, based on a unique set of shared characters, is most closely allied to the Australian bronzewings, and Phaps in particular.

This, the first described fossil pigeon from pre-Quaternary deposits of Australia, demonstrates that phabine pigeons were present in the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene (c. 26–24 million years ago), supporting molecular-based hypotheses for the age of this clade. Two other fragmentary fossils from South Australia attest to at least one other species of pigeon being present in Australia at this time, but they are too incomplete for their affinity to be narrowed further.

The new fossils are the oldest columbid fossils globally and although few in number indicate that a diversity of taxa, including the precursors of Australian bronzewings were present in Australia by the end of the Paleogene. This emerging fossil record of pigeons supports ages of divergence of clades based on molecular analyses and suggests that Australia has had a long role in columbid evolution.

Foraging behaviour of the Peaceful Dove (Geopelia striata) in relation to predation risk: group size and predator cues in a natural environment: here.

Also from Australia: The anatomy of a failed reintroduction: a case study with the Brown Treecreeper: here.

4 thoughts on “Australian fossil pigeon discovery

  1. Pingback: New Zealand fossil penguin reconstructed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Australian fossils discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Very Inspring Blogger Award, thanks sedge808! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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