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Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 78 (3): 489-495, 2005
First record of skulls assigned to Palaeospheniscus (Aves, Spheniscidae) from the Bahía Inglesa Formation (Middle-Late Miocene), Chile
Although the skulls of the Spheniscidae are unusual in the paleontologic record, they show important features useful in the systematics of the group, as well as in the rest of the birds.  Until now, fossil occurrences were restricted to six skulls: Paraptenodytes antarctica and one new species from the Gaiman Formation (Early Miocene) and Puerto Madryn Formation (Late Miocene) of Argentina, respectively; Spheniscus megaramphus and S. urbinai from the Pisco Formation (Late Miocene), Perú; Marplesornis novaezealandiae from New Zealand (Pliocene); and Spheniscidae cf. Spheniscus from the Bahía Inglesa Formation (Middle-Late Miocene), Chile. Five new materials have been exhumed from this last unit. These skulls, which come from the Caldera locality (Region of Atacama, Chile), have been preliminarily assigned to Palaeospheniscus (Aves, Spheniscidae), constituting the first skulls described for this species. We made an important contribution to the knowledge of the fossil avifauna of Chile and particularly of the Bahía Inglesa Formation.
Key words:
Spheniscidae, Palaeospheniscus, Middle-Late Miocene, Bahía Inglesa Formation, Chile

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