AN ANNOTATED LIST OF LATE QUATERNARY EXTINCT BIRDS OF CUBA

Johanset Orihuela

Abstract


Abstract · Within the Antilles, Cuba has a peculiarly diverse fossil avifauna. However, information on this avifauna is scattered among the specialized literature. Here I provide an updated annotated taxonomic list of the fossil birds from Cuba. This list includes 35 taxa, of which 17 are endemic, 12 actually extirpated, and 6 are undefined species identified only to genus level. The list is richly diverse in raptors with varied adaptations, including giant owls with limited flight and four large barn-owls, all with anatomical adaptations that suggest pronounced ground-dwelling. The raptor list includes five hawks, five falcons, and three vultures. There are also records of an egret, a stork, a crane, a snipe, and a nighthawk. Most species seem to have become extinct in Cuba, probably during the Late Holocene.

Resumen · Lista de la avifauna fósil de Cuba Cuba tiene una avifauna fósil peculiarmente diversa. No obstante, la información taxonómica al respecto se encuentra dispersa en la literatura especializada. Se presenta aquí una lista actualizada sobre la taxonomía de la avifauna fósil de Cuba, reconociéndose 35 taxones extintos, incluyendo 17 endémicos y 12 taxones localmente extinguidos o extirpados y 6 taxones identificados solo al nivel de género. Entre la fauna extinguida conocida prevalecen las aves rapaces, incluyendo búhos gigantes, lechuzas y, un teratornítido con adaptaciones que indican capacidades nulas o limitadas de vuelo. Además, hay cinco gavilanes, cinco halcones y tres buitres. También se registran una grulla, una cigüeña, una garza, un alcaraván y otras aves que se han extinguido localmente, posiblemente durante el Holoceno tardío o periodo colonial.


Keywords


Antilles; Extinction; Fossil birds; Insularity; Late Holocene; Late Pleistocene; Raptors; Teratorns

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