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Title: The extinct Maltese crane
Authors: Harrison, C. J. O.
Keywords: Cranes (Birds)
Birds -- Malta -- History
Extinct birds -- Malta
Birds, Fossil -- Malta
Issue Date: 1980
Publisher: Malta Ornithological Society
Citation: Harrison, C. J. O. (1980). The extinct Maltese crane. Il-Merill, 20, 14-15.
Abstract: In 1890 when Lydekker examined a collection of Late Pleistocene bird bones from Zebbug Cave on Malta, presented to the British Museum (Natural History) by Admiral Spratt in 1878, he identified among others the bones of a crane. He described this as a new species Grus melitensis. The syntype specimens were part of a coracoid, 49365, which he regarded as unlike those of other cranes; the distal end of a tibiotarsus, 49361, recognised as similar to that of the Laroe extant Sarus Crane G. antigone; and the distal end of a tarsometatarsus, 49358, which was also Laroe and which he referred to this bird with some reservation. Later (1891), in his catalogue of fossil birds, he Listed other specimens including toe bones, phalanges. He stated there that the "types" of the species were the coracoid and part of a pelvis no. 49322m. The Latter bone is not gruiform and is probably referable to the very Large fossil swan Cygnus falconer! which occurs in the same cave deposits. More Pleistocene cave material was collected from Tal-Gnien Caves on Malta by D.M.A. Bate in 1933,1934 and 1936, some of which has been referred to in a recent note on large extinct cranes (Harrison and Cowles 1977).
Appears in Collections:Il-Merill : issue 20 : 1979
Il-Merill : issue 20 : 1979

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