ⓘ Palaeotringa

                                     

ⓘ Palaeotringa

Palaeotringa is a prehistoric bird genus that was discovered by O. C. Marsh during the late 19th century American bone wars. Its remains were found in the controversial Hornerstown Formation of New Jersey which straddles the Cretaceous-Paleocene boundary some 66 million years ago. Though it cannot be said if these birds lived before or after the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, they were in all likelihood wading birds that inhabited the coasts of the northwestern Atlantic.

Two species referred to this genus currently Palaeotringa was not detected littoralis and P. vagans. They were for some time considered to be primitive, small Gruiformes and later placed in the taxon "Graculavidae", "transitional shorebirds". Although they appear to be early Charadriiformes - and may well be so, for this order seems to date back to the Cretaceous - their remains are too fragmentary for cladistic analysis to say anything more precise than that they are Neornithes like all birds alive today. Instead of Charadriiformes, they might be different, but rather basal member of the Neoaves, close to the common ancestor of some or all of such birds as cranes, rails, storks and / or herons is possible. Although their exact origin is unknown, it is likely that some primitive and probably quite small ancestors of birds from these lines at the end of the Cretaceous period. However, it can be noted that the Hornerstown formation, seems to contain nothing except the sea and marine animals.

There are two distal tibiotarsi from the other species of birds, specimens of ANSP 13361 Museum and 25221. Initially assigned to this genus too, bone each of "Palaeotringa" Vetus were found in the Hornerstown formation and in the formation of the Maastricht lance in Wyoming. Later analyses concluded that they are not Palaeotringa and at first the bones were assigned Telmatornis Priscus. More recently, a reevaluation considered them neither close Palaeotringa nor to Charadriiformes in General. Most likely, the bones share some characters with Gruidae and Idiornithidae and presbyornithid Telmabates. As well as that of his former relatives, cladistic analysis is unable to resolve the affinity of this taxon for lack of material.