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Scientific classification

Halcyornithidae or Pseudasturidae is a family of fossil birds, possibly belonging to the order Psittaciformes (parrots and relatives).[1] Members of this family lived in the Eocene, around 55-48 millions years ago. Fossil remains are known from the Green River Formation in the United States and from the London Clay formation in the United Kingdom.[2][3] They were probably the sister group to the owl-like Messelasturidae.[4]



  1. ^ Ksepka, Clarke, Grande (2011). "Stem Parrots (Aves, Halcyornithidae) from the Green River Formation and a Combined Phylogeny of Pan-Psittaciformes". Journal of Paleontology. 85 (5): 835-852. doi:10.1666/10-108.1.
  2. ^ Mayr (2002). "On the osteology and phylogenetic affinities of the Pseudasturidae – Lower Eocene stem-group representatives of parrots (Aves, Psittaciformes)". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. The Linnean Society of London. 136: 715–729.
  3. ^ "A new psittaciform bird from the London Clay (Lower Eocene) of England". Wiley Online Library.
  4. ^ Mayr (2011). "Well-preserved new skeleton of the Middle Eocene Messelastur substantiates sister group relationship between Messelasturidae and Halcyornithidae (Aves, ?Pan-Psittaciformes)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 9 (1): 159-171. doi:10.1080/14772019.2010.505252.
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