Australian Museum Journal The history and significance of the fossil Casuarius lydekkeri

Shortform:
Miller, 1962, Rec. Aust. Mus. 25(10): 235–238
Author(s):
Miller, A. H.
Year published:
1962
Title:
The history and significance of the fossil Casuarius lydekkeri
Serial title:
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume:
25
Issue:
10
Start page:
235
End page:
238
DOI:
10.3853/j.0067-1975.25.1962.662
Language:
English
Date published:
19 June 1962
Cover date:
19 June 1962
ISSN:
0067-1975
CODEN:
RAUMAJ
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Digitized:
05 August 2009
Reference number:
662
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (219kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (560kb PDF)

Abstract

In 1891 Lydekker (pp, 353-354) made known the existence of a fossil cassowary of the Pleistocene of New South Wales, Australia. His report was based on a cast presented to the British Museum by the Trustees of the Australian Museum, Sydney, New South Wales. The original specimen, which according to him was preserved in the "Museum at Sydney" we now know later appeared, unnumbered, among material in the Mining Museum at Sydney, About 20 years ago it was transferred to the Australian Museum and given the number MF 1268. The significance and identity of the specimen had been lost sight of over the years, and, in 1954, it was placed in the hands of Mr. Leslie F, Marcus, a representative of the Museum of Paleontology of the University of California, U.S.A., with the suggestion that it be studied. In 1960 I began checking the characteristics of this fossil, which consists of the distal end of the tibiotarsus. It seemed clearly to show the configuration of a cassowary rather than that of an emu, which latter has a less tapered proximal extension of the lateral condylar mass on the anterior surface. The question then arose of the distinctness of the from the specimen from the cassowary reported by Lydekker, the only fossil cassowary on record (Lambrecht, 1933: 111). In November of 1960 an opportunity was presented of taking this "unknown" fossil to London, where it was compared with the cast, A158, now with the additional number B10394. To my considerable surprise it proved to be the original of the cast. All minor imperfections of the original and details of blood-vessel channels corresponded perfectly; a section of the shaft, about 3 centimetres long on the anterior aspect, had apparently broken out and been lost since the time the cast was made...

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