Taphonomy and abundance of birds from the Lower Eocene Fur Formation of Denmark
Version of Record online: 26 FEB 2009
Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 44, Issue 3, pages 365–373, May 2009
How to Cite
Dyke, G. and Lindow, B. (2009), Taphonomy and abundance of birds from the Lower Eocene Fur Formation of Denmark. Geol. J., 44: 365–373. doi: 10.1002/gj.1150
- Issue online: 23 APR 2009
- Version of Record online: 26 FEB 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 JAN 2009
- Manuscript Received: 21 JUN 2008
- IRCSET. Grant Number: 2004/ES0009
- NSF. Grant Number: DEB-0454856
The pattern, pace and extent of the evolutionary radiation of modern birds (Neornithes) by the end-Cretaceous (65 Ma) has long been debated. Well-dated, taphonomically understood and phylogenetically constrained fossil birds from both sides of the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) boundary are required to quantify the shape of this radiation, but have largely been lacking. Here we report on a large collection of fossil birds from the Lower Eocene of Denmark (ca. 54 Ma) that includes three-dimensionally preserved, articulated specimens from carbonate concretions as well as skeletal imprints and feathers. These birds are from a marine diatomite sequence (the Fur Formation), a low-energy deep-water preservational environment unique to the Cretaceous and Paleogene avian fossil record. We present taphonomic and palaeoecological information gleaned from these birds that in combination with phylogenetic data have implications for unravelling avian survivorship across the K–Pg boundary as well as for the pattern of the neornithine evolutionary radiation. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.