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Modern parrots are from Europe


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Hypothesis is that Psittaciform diversity in South America and Australasia suggests that the order may have evolved in Gondwanaland, centered in Australasia. The scarcity of parrots in the fossil record, however, presents difficulties in supporting the hypothesis.

A single 15 mm (0.6 in) fragment from a large lower bill, found in deposits from the Lance Creek Formation in Niobrara County, Wyoming, had been thought to be the oldest parrot fossil and is presumed to have originated from the Late Cretaceous period, which makes it about 70 Ma ( Ma = million years ago) Other studies suggest that this fossil is not from a bird, but from a caenagnathid theropod or a non-avian dinosaur with a birdlike beak.

It is now generally assumed that the Psittaciformes, or their common ancestors with several related bird orders, were present somewhere in the world around the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event (K-Pg extinction), some 66 Ma . If so, they probably had not evolved their morphological autapomorphies yet, but were generalised arboreal birds, roughly similar (though not necessarily closely related) to today's potoos orfrogmouths . Though these birds (Cypselomorphae) are a phylogenetically challenging group, they seem at least closer to the parrot ancestors than, for example, the modern aquatic birds.

Europe is the origin of the first undeniable parrot fossils, which date from about 50 Ma. The climate there and then was tropical, consistent with the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

Fossils assignable to Psittaciformes (though not yet the present-day parrots) date from slightly later in the Eocene, starting around 50 Ma. Several fairly complete skeletons of parrot-like birds have been found in England and Germany.

The earliest records of modern parrots date to about 23–20 Ma and are also from Europe. Subsequently, the fossil record—again mainly from Europe—consists of bones clearly recognizable as belonging to parrots of modern type. The Southern Hemisphere does not have nearly as rich a fossil record for the period of interest as the Northern, and contains no known parrot-like remains earlier than the early to middleMiocene, around 20 Ma. At this point, however, is found the first unambiguous parrot fossil (as opposed to a parrot-like one), an upper jaw which is indistinguishable from that of modern cockatoos.


So, everything related to modern parrots started in Europe and now-days we have no native parrots here !!! :mad: Isn't this pure irony????:(

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So, everything related to modern parrots started in Europe and now-days we have no native parrots here !!! :mad: Isn't this pure irony????:(


.... it is. Also ironic & sad that parrots in No America are all but extinct, if the "mother" of all fossil parrots was found in WY. There are still some thick billed parrots in MX & there's some small hope they could eventually be encourage to colonize as far north as New Mexico.


The Carolina Parakeet was really the last North American parrot, though. There's some evidence they may have been a sister species to modern Quaker Parrots/Parakeets. They ranged all over the US & into Canada. But they were killed for sport & food, driven out by logging & exterminated as crop pests, until they became extinct ~100 yrs ago. Human driven extinction continues to take it's toll, I'm afraid.

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