Piotr Jadwiszczak, 2013. "Taxonomic diversity of Eocene Antarctic penguins: a changing picture", Antarctic Palaeoenvironments and Earth-Surface Processes, M. J. Hambrey, P. F. Barker, P. J. Barrett, V. Bowman, B. Davies, J. L. Smellie, M. Tranter
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Eocene Antarctic penguins, at least 10 species in six genera, are known only from the La Meseta Formation, Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula. They are most numerous (in terms of individuals, body sizes and taxa) in Late Eocene strata. Specimens from three species and phylogenetic analysis presented in this work shed new light on the systematics and evolution of Antarctic Sphenisciformes. The earliest reported bones of giant penguins from the genus Anthropornis set the conservative estimate of its divergence time at c. 53 Ma (Early Eocene). They also document the oldest known appearance of quite a high diversity of Sphenisciformes; altogether, three morphotypes (differing in size) have been found within the same sampling locality. A newly described, relatively small and intriguingly elongated, tarsometatarsus from the Late Eocene of the La Meseta Formation, belonging to another genus of large-sized Antarctic penguins (Palaeeudyptes), suggests the possible existence of an unnamed species within this long-established genus. The phylogenetic analysis based on tarsometatarsal features shows that the relationship between ‘Archaeospheniscus’ wimani and three species of Delphinornis (all of them co-existed during the Late Eocene time period) does not appear to be close enough to justify merging them into a single genus (as was recently postulated).
An annotated data matrix used for the phylogenetic analysis is available at www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18599
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Antarctic Palaeoenvironments and Earth-Surface Processes
The volume highlights developments in our understanding of the palaeogeographical, palaeobiological, palaeoclimatic and cryospheric evolution of Antarctica. It focuses on the sedimentary record from the Devonian to the Quaternary Period. It features tectonic evolution and stratigraphy, as well as processes taking place adjacent to, beneath and beyond the ice-sheet margin, including the continental shelf.
The contributions in this volume include several invited review papers, as well as original research papers arising from the International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences in Edinburgh, in July 2011. These papers demonstrate a remarkable diversity of Earth science interests in the Antarctic. Following international trends, there is particular emphasis on the Cenozoic Era, reflecting the increasing emphasis on the documentation and understanding of the past record of ice-sheet fluctuations. Furthermore, Antarctic Earth history is providing us with important information about potential future trends, as the impact of global warming is increasingly felt on the continent and its ocean.