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Temporal range: Late Eocene
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Quercypsittidae
Mourer-Chauviré, 1992
Genus: Quercypsitta
Mourer-Chauviré, 1992

Quercypsitta sudrei
Mourer-Chauviré, 1992 (type)
Quercypsitta ivani
Mourer-Chauviré, 1992

Quercypsitta[1] is a genus of prehistoric bird from the Late Eocene (circa 37-34 Mya) Quercy phosphorites in France.

Known from rather fragmentary remains (some foot and wing bones for the type species Q. sudrei, three coracoids for the species Q. ivani), it was described as a parrot sufficiently distinct to be included in its own family, the Quercypsittidae.[2] These birds apparently formed an early offshoot of the parrots which spread to Europe and became extinct in the Miocene at latest. This coincided with a period of global cooling, when their relatives - the ancestors of the African and Asian parrots known today - had in the meantime settled the warmer areas south of the Quercypsittidae's distribution.

The genus Palaeopsittacus is sometimes included in the Quercypsittidae together with Quercypsitta, but it is not certain that the former was indeed a parrot.[3]


  1. ^ Etymology: Quercypsitta, "Quercy parrot", from Quercy + Ancient Greek psitta, "parrot".
  2. ^ Mourer-Chauviré, Cécile (1992): Une nouvelle famille de Perroquets (Aves, Psittaciformes) dans l'Eocène supérieur des Phosphorites du Quercy. Geobios, Mémoire Spécial 14: 169-177.
  3. ^ Dyke, Gareth J. & Cooper Joanne H. (2000): A new psittaciform bird from the London Clay (Lower Eocene) of England. Palaeontology 43(2): 271-285. doi:10.1111/1475-4983.00126 (HTML abstract)

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