Tag Archives: Europe

Masillatrogon pumilio – test II

Let’s do some tests regarding the Cyclanthus fruit stalk … it’s an awesome plant, but a badass when to be drawn.


I think I’m on the right track now ….


Masillatrogon pumilio – test I

Let’s do some tests regarding the background and the colors.


Hm, no.


Hm, the Green is too green, still no.

Maybe I should add a second bird next to mine?

Masillatrogon pumilio – the drawing of?

I had this one before, and maybe I didn’t draw the bird because of what I know now for sure, the spacy thing the bird is sitting on is just too much, the bird almost disappears next to that frutescence.

And, to be honest, I do not really know how that thing has to look like, and to be honest again, I just don’t want to draw it!


A small bird with a ‘large’ name: take 2

Rupelramphastoides knopfi Mayr

Well, the head appears to have also been found, yet in another specimen, so here’s the reconstruction after measuring the skull.:

It does not really differ that much from the previous version.:



>Gerald Mayr: A tiny barbet-like bird from the Lower Oligocene of Germany: the smallest species and earliest substantial fossil record of the Pici (woodpeckers and allies). The Auk 122(4): 1-9. 2005
>Gerald Mayr: Avian Evolution: The Fossil Record of Birds and its Paleobiological Significance. Wiley-Blackwell 2016


It seems that the Oligocene epoch in Europe produced a lot of birds with brittly legs, since this nameless thing (ISEA AF/JAM1 is the ‘name’ given to the bones) is the next bird known only from a single leg (the twig-like thing between the drawing and the pen).

It appears to have been related to the Apodiformes or the Upupiformes, and according to my reconstruction may have reached a length of only about 6 cm.


Gosh, I need to use colors again at last!!!



>Zbigniew M. Bochenski; Teresa Tomek; Ewa Swidnicka: A tiny short-legged bird from the early Oligocene of Poland. Geologica Carpathica 67(5): 463-469. 2016

A small bird with a ‘large’ name

If my reconstruction sketch is reliable, this bird must have reached a length of some 10 to 11 cm, this is in fact quite small.

The head, however, is not known so far.

This time I decided to made a photo of my drawing rather than a scan since my scanner is a dumbass that makes me angry … and no one wants angry bird scans, right?   😉



>Gerald Mayr: A tiny barbet-like bird from the Lower Oligocene of Germany: the smallest species and earliest substantial fossil record of the Pici (woodpeckers and allies). The Auk 122(4): 1-9. 2005

An Early Oligocene hoopoe-relative

This species obviously was described as Bystreornis brevimetatarsis, however, I have no idea in which paper (not the one mentioned below), and by whom.

Anyway, the bird is so far known from a single leg only, which whose structure indicates that it the bird belonged to the hoopoe family, and which otherwise proves it to have been an exceptional small creature.

This is just a sketch, and I depicted the bird twice the actual size, it may in fact have reached only some 6cm!


… maybe I got the tarsometatarsus too long?



>Martin Kundrát; Ján Soták; Per E. Ahlberg: A putative upupiform bird from the Early Oligocene of the Central Western Carpathians and a review of fossil birds unearthed in Slovakia. Acta Zoologica 96(4): 45-59. 2015

Gargantuavis philoinos Buffetaut & Le Loeuff

Gargantuavis philoinos, which lived at the end of the Cretaceous period, is thought to have been a very heavy, ponderous, flightless, herbivorous bird, about the size of a modern day ostrich.

In another blog, “Notions Of A Most Peculiar Dinosaur Nerd”, I read something about this enigmatic bird, especially about the lack of depictions of it, so I decided to do one on my own.

Here it is.:


It’s just a quick sketch, and depicts this creature as a heavy, moa-like bird, still bearing some free fingers with claws.

This reconstruction is very speculative however, since only a few bones of this animal are known to date, most of them synsacra.



>Notions Of A Most Peculiar Dinosaur Nerd
>Eric Buffetaut; Delphie Angst; Patrick Mechin; Annie Mechin-Salessy: New remains of the giant bird Gargantuavis philoinos from the Late Cretaceous of Provence (south-east France). Palaeovertebrata 39(2): 1-6. 2015

Masillatrogon pumilio (Mayr)


This bird, originally described in 2005 as Primotrogon pumilio Mayr, comes from the Middle Eocene Messel oil shale in Germany and presents one of the oldest known records of its family.

The bird only reached a length of about 15 to 16 cm, which is about the half of an average living trogon. [2]


The Messel Trogon is depicted here as sitting on the infructescence of Cyclanthus messelensis S. Y. Smith, Collinson & Rudall. [1]


Photo above: Thesupermat

(under creative commons license (3.0))



[1] Selena Y. Smith; Margaret E. Collinson; Paula J. Rudall: Fossil Cyclanthus (Cyclanthaceae, Pandanales) from the Eocene of Germany and England. American Journal of Botany 95(6): 688-699. 2008
[2] Gerald Mayr: A well-preserved second trogon skeleton (Aves, Trogonidae) from the middle Eocene of Messel, Germany. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments 89(1): 1-6. 2009