The fossil record of giant flightless birds extends back to the Late Cretaceous, more than 70 million years ago, but our understanding of these extinct birds is still incomplete. This is partly because the number of specimens available is sometimes limited, but also because widely different approaches have been used to study them, with sometimes contradictory results. This book summarizes the current knowledge of the paleobiology of seven groups of giant flightless birds: Dinornithiformes, Aepyornithiformes, Dromornithidae, Phorusrhacidae, Brontornithidae, Gastornithidae and Gargantuavis.
The first chapter presents the global diversity of these birds and reviews the tools and methods used to study their paleobiology. Chapters 2 to 8 are each dedicated to one of the seven groups of extinct birds. Finally, a conclusion offers a global synthesis of the information presented in the book in an attempt to define a common evolutionary model.
- Focuses on the giant flightless birds that evolved independently in different parts of the world since the Cretaceous period
- Covers a number of different families with different evolutionary histories, providing a source of interesting comparisons
- Provides emphasis on the palaeobiology of these birds, including their evolution, adaptations, mode of life, ecology and extinction
Vertebrate Palaeontologists, ornithologists, evolutionary biologists, biogeographers, archaeologists. Although primarily aimed at specialists and graduate students, the book should also be of interest to members of the general public interested in avian palaeontology
1. General Introduction
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- © ISTE Press - Elsevier 2018
- 16th November 2017
- ISTE Press - Elsevier
- Hardcover ISBN:
- eBook ISBN:
Delphine Angst is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Her work currently focuses on the study of paleobiology and paleoecology of giant flightless birds through a multidisciplinary approach.
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Eric Buffetaut is Director of Research Emeritus at the National Center of Scientific Research (Geology Department of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris). After working on crocodiles, dinosaurs and pterosaurs, he is now mainly interested in the paleobiology of extinct birds.
National Center of Scientific Research, France
"This book is an important contribution to these wonderful questions and a must for anyone with a fascination for this anachronistic body plan." --Quarterly Review of Biology