Bird Fossils

From Ohio History Central
Bird Fossil from the Eocene Era.jpg
This is a fine example of a rarely-seen bird from the oil shale Messel Pit deposits of Darmstadt, Germany, known as Messelornis cristata.

Birds first appeared during the Mesozoic and are derived from dinosaurs. However, as Ohio does not have rocks from the Mesozoic, nor from the Paleogene and Neogene Periods of the Cenozoic Era, fossils of birds are known in the state from sediments deposited during the latter part of the Pleistocene Ice Age. These are rare fossils with only a few specimens having been found. These include turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, the claw of a hawk, duck, and possibly Canada goose. Bird bones are very delicate and easily destroyed by weathering and easily overlooked except in excavations where sediments screened for small bones.

See Also


  1. Hansen, M. C., 1996. "Phylum Chordata--Vertebrate Fossils," in Fossils of Ohio, edited by R. M. Feldmann and Merrianne Hackathorn. Ohio Division of Geological Survey Bulletin 70, p. 288-369.