Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.25(2). (2017) p.65-103.

Evolution and skeletal characteristics of European owls
Jenő (Eugen) Kessler

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Owls represent typical nocturnal avian predators. They are known since the beginning of the Tertiary. Thirteen species live in Europe, but the number of extinct fossil species is only slightly above twice that number. The present genera appeared in the Neogene period. They also have a major significance regarding palaeoecology, since most of the fossilized remains of small-medium sized vertebrates are available from owl pellets. The author wishes to describe the occurrence and evolution of owls in Europe from the Cretaceous to current times, as well as to provide an osteological guide of recent species. The text is supplemented by 16 plates, 4 size charts, and extensive bibliography.