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Temporal range: Middle Eocene
Rhynchaeites sp.jpg
Rhynchaeites species fossil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Threskiornithidae
Genus: Rhynchaeites
Wittich (1898)

Rhynchaeites is an extinct genus of Threskiornithidae related to modern ibises and has a single named species Rhynchaeites meselensis. It lived in today's Germany during the mid-Eocene and its remains were found in the famous Messel pit.

However, leg bone fossils of a similar bird were found in the Early Eocene Fur Formation in Denmark. It has been hypothesized that the supposed parrot relative Mopsitta tanta, known from a single humerus bone, is the same bird as the leg fossils and thus actually belongs in Rhynchaeites too.

Rhynchaeites messelensis


  • "The Origin and Evolution of Birds" by Alan Feduccia