Grus primigenia Milne-Edwards, 1869



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

The validity of this species is questionable (see Stewart, 2007:98-101).


Conservation Status

Extinct or invalid (synonym of G. grus) (see Stewart, 2007:98-101)

Last record: Late Pleistocene





Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Milne-Edwards A. (1869-1871). Recherches anatomiques et paléontologiques pour servir à l'histoire des oiseaux fossiles de la France. Vol. 2. Paris: G. Masson, 627 pp. + pls. 97-200.


Other references:

Harrison, C. J. O. and Cowles, G. S. (1977). The extinct large cranes of the north-west Palearctic. Journal of Archaeological Science 4: 25-27.

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

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.

Northcote, E. Marjorie and Mourer-Chauviré, Cécile. (1988). The extinct crane Grus primigenia Milne-Edwards, in Majorca (Spain). Geobios 21: 201-208.

Stewart, John R. (2004). Wetland birds in the recent fossil record of Britain and northwest Europe. British Birds 97(1): 33-43.

Stewart, John R. (2007). An Evolutionary Study of Some Archaeologically Significant Avian Taxa in the Quaternary of the Western Palaearctic. British Archaeological Reports. Oxford: Archaeopress. + 268 pp.

Tyrberg, T. (1985).  [Grus primigenia---the extinct large crane of Europe.] Fauna och Flora 80: 169-176.

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.

von den Driesch, A. (1999). The crane, Grus grus, in prehistoric Europe and its relation to the Pleistocene crane, Grus primigenia, pp. 201-207. In: Benecke, N. (ed). Archäologie in Eurasien 6. Rahden: Verlag Marie Leidorf.



I thank Dr. John Stewart (Bournemouth University) for providing me with two references to his work on this taxon.


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