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PalaeovertebrataVol. 18, Fasc. 1:1-94. 1988
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The Quaternary avifauna of Crete, Greece.
Peter D. WeesieKeywords: Avifauna; Crete; Quaternary; Systematics
Cite this article: Weesie P. D., 1988. The Quaternary avifauna of Crete, Greece. Palaeovertebrata 18 (1): 1-94.
Pleistocene bird fossils have been studied from nine localities on Crete. Part of this material was described earlier by the author (Weesie, 1982) and will not be treated here in extenso, the results will be incorporated. More than one third of the over 10,000 fossil bird bones available could be identified ; they were found to represent at least 65 bird species. The following species of the Pleistocene Cretan avifauna are new to the fauna of Crete : Branta ruficollis, Haliaeetus albicilla, Gyps melitensis, Aquila chrysaetos simurgh n. ssp., Ketupa zeylomensis, Aegolius funereus, Dendrocopos leucotos, Zoothera dauma, Turdus iliacus and Pyrrhula pyrrhula. The Pleistocene Cretan avifauna differs less from comparable mainland avifaunas than (fossil) avifaunas from oceanic islands do. Still, the Pleistocene Cretan avifauna has two qualities that are characteristic of island avifaunas : the almost complete absence of a group of birds (the Galliformes) and the presence of two endemic (sub)species : the giant eagle Aquila chrysaetos simurgh n. ssp. and the long-legged owl Athene cretensis (Weesie, 1982). The new subspecies is described in the present study.
Published in Vol. 18, Fasc. 1 (1988)