A new genus and species of heron (Aves: Ardeidae) from the late Miocene of Florida


  • David W. Steadman Florida Museum of Natural History
  • Oona M. Takano University of New Mexico




Florida, Montbrook, late Miocene, heron, Ardeidae, new taxa


From the recently discovered Montbrook locality, Levy County, Florida (late Miocene; late Hemphillian land mammal age), a complete coracoid and nearly complete scapula represent a large heron that we name Taphophoyx hodgei new genus and species. While the phylogenetic affinities of T. hodgei are not well resolved, the tiger-herons Tigrisoma spp. or boat-billed heron Cochlearius cochlearius (both Neotropical) may be the closest living relative(s) of Taphophoyx, based in large part on several shared characters of the facies articularis clavicularis and facies articularis humeralis. Nevertheless, the coracoid of Taphophoyx has a uniquely prominent facies articularis humeralis and a uniquely sterno-ventral surface of corpus coracoidei. All 21 taxa of birds recorded thus far from Montbrook (mostly aquatic forms such as swans, ducks, geese, grebes, cormorants, ibises, sandpipers, etc.) probably represent extinct species, although Taphophoyx hodgei is the only one assigned to an extinct genus.

Journal cover with Florida Museum of Natural History Logo and text Florida Museum of Natural History Bulletin University of Florida Gainesville




How to Cite

Steadman, D., & Takano, O. (2019). A new genus and species of heron (Aves: Ardeidae) from the late Miocene of Florida. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History, 55(9), 174–186. https://doi.org/10.58782/flmnh.qskt9951