Grus melitensis Lydekker, 1890

Maltese crane



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Considered a synonym of G. primigenia by (Mlíkovský, 2002).


Conservation Status

Extinct or invalid (synonym)

Last record: Late Pleistocene



Malta (& Sicily?)


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Lydekker, R. (1890). On the remains of some large extinct birds from the cavern-deposits of Malta. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 28: 403-411.


Other references:

Harrison, C. J. O. (1979). The extinct Maltese crane. Il-Merill (Malta) 20: 14-15.

Hunt, Christopher O. and Schembri, Patrick J. (1999). Quaternary environments and biogeography of the Maltese Islands, pp. 41-75. In: Mifsud, A. and Savona Ventura, C. (eds.). Facets of Maltese Prehistory. Malta: The Prehistoric Society of Malta, vii + 243 pp.

Mlíkovský, Jiří. (2002). Cenozoic Birds of the World: Part 1: Europe. Praha, Czech Republic: Ninox Press.

Northcote, E. Marjorie. (1982). The extinct Maltese crane Grus melitensis. Ibis 124(1): 76-80. [[url=]Abstract[/url]]

Northcote, E. Marjorie. (1984). Crane Grus fossils from the Maltese Pleistocene. Palaeontology 27(4): 729-735.

Northcote EM (1992) Swans (Cygnus) and cranes (Grus) from the Maltese Pleistocene. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Science Series 36, 285–292.

Northcote, E. Marjorie and Mourer-Chauviré, Cécile. (1985). The distinction between the extinct Pleistocene European Crane, Grus primigenia, and the extant Asian Sarus Crane, G. antigone. Geobios 18(6): 877-881.

Pavia M (2000) Le avifaune pleistoceniche dell’Italia meridionale. Tesi Università di Torino Scienze de la Terra, Torino.

Pavia, M. (2001). The Middle Pleistocene fossil avifauna from the "Elephas mnaidriensis Faunal Complex" of Sicily (Italy): preliminary results, pp. 497-501. In: Cavarretta, C., Gioia, P., Mussi, M. and Palombo, M. R. (eds.). The World of Elephants – International Congress, Rome. Proceedings of the 1st international congress – Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, Rome. [automatic download]

Tyrberg, Tommy. (2009). Holocene avian extinctions, pp. 63-106. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.


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