Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina
versión On-line ISSN 1851-8249
Antarctic fossil birds can be confidently assigned to modern orders and families, such as a goose-like anseriform, two loon-like and a seriema-like, all recorded before the K/T boundary at the López de Bertodano Fomation. Also, the discovery of a ratite and a phororhacids from the uppermost levels of the Submeseta Allomember (Late Eocene), suggests that West Antarctica was functional to dispersal routes obligate terrestrial birds. Representatives of Falconiformes Polyborinae, Ciconiiformes, Phoenicoteriformes, Charadriiformes, Pelagornitidae and Diomedeidae constitute the non-penguin avian assemblages of the Eocene of La Meseta Formation. Fifthteen Antarctic species of penguins have been described including the oldest penguin of West Antarctica, Croswallia unienwillia. The Anthropornis nordenskjoeldi Biozone (36.13 and 34.2 Ma, Late Eocene) is characterized by bearing one of the highest frequencies of penguin bones and the phospatic brachiopod Lingula., together with remains of Gadiforms, sharks and primitive mysticete whales. Anthropornis nordenskjoeldi, Delphinornis gracilis, D. arctowski, Archaeospheniscus lopdelli, and Palaeeudyptes antarcticus are exclusively of the La Meseta Formation. Anthropornis nordenskjoeldi was evidently the largest penguin recorded at the James Ross Basin, whereas Delphinornis arctowski is the smallest, and include one of the worldwide highest morphological and taxonomic penguin diversity living sympatrically. The progressive climate cooling of the Eocene could have affected the penguin populations, because of climatic changes linked with habitat availability and food web processes. However, there is not available evidence about Antarctic penguins' evolution after the end of the Eocene.
Palabras clave : Birds; Antarctica; Cretaceous; Paleogene.