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A Supposed Record of a Fossil Cormorant

Alexander Wetmore
Publication Information
6 (November-December)
From Field and Study

A Supposed Record of a Fcewil Cormorant.-Shufeldt (Auk, 32, 1915:485-488, pl. 30) described in considerable detail a fragment of fossil bone from the Miocene of the Arikaree Sandstone, collected in southeastern Montana, and identified the specimen as Pholacrocorax macropus (Cope). This record has been carried in the two editions of the check-list of the fossil birds of North America that have appeared since, but with definite uncertainty, since P. macropus otherwise is known only from the Pleistocene deposits of Fossil Lake, Oregon. Although the specimen has been in the collections of the United States National Museum (Div. Vert. Paleo. cat. no. 3251)) it has not been expedient to check the identification until recently. Careful examination indicates that while the bone is avian, and superficially suggests a cormorant, it is so crushed that there can be no certainty as to its allocation; there is even doubt as to the family to which it belongs. The record therefore is one that must be dropped from our list. Shufeldts ’ illustration (fig. 2) shows clearly the form and condition of the specimen.-ALEXANDER WETMORE, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., July 14, 1955. 

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