Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Tingamarra Local Fauna Murgon, Queensland

Australia's earliest known non-marine bird assemblage has been found in the Early Eocene deposits at the Murgon site.

Emu Austral Ornithology Emu 97(1) 43 - 50

The Passeriformes, song birds, are the most successful order of living birds. They are generally believed to have evolved in the northern hemisphere, reaching Australasia by a series of invasions. Recently the resulted of molecular studies and the interpretation of the fossil record has begun to challenge the northern origin for the Passeriformes. The claim for a southern origin has been strengthened by the discovery at the early Eocene Murgon site of fossil passerine remains, carpometacarpal and tibiotarsal fragments, that are 25 million years older than the oldest known passerine fossils from the northern hemisphere. These previously announced bones are described in detail in this article.

Included among the vertebrates from this site are small teleost fish, birds, frogs, madtsoiid snake (J. Scanlon), as well as many large crocodylids (P.Willis), and trionychid turtles (Gaffney & Bartholomai, 1979).

Sources & Further reading

M. Archer, S.J. Hand & H. Godthelp in Hill, Robert S., (ed.), 1994, History of the Australian Vegetation, Cambridge University Press.


Fossil Songbirds (Passeriformes) from the Early Eocene of Australia 

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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading