Leonard, L., Dyke, Gareth J. and Walker, C.A.
New specimens of a fossil ostrich from the Miocene of Kenya.
Journal of African Earth Sciences, 45, (4-5), . (doi:10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2006.03.007).
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Fossilised hind limb bones from the late Middle Miocene (approximately 14 million-year-old [MYA]) Fort Ternan, Kadianga West and Ngorora localities in Western Kenya indicate the presence of a new representative of the ostrich genus Struthio. These new fossils represent some of the oldest known records for Struthio yet described, slightly younger than Struthio coppensi, from the Lower Miocene of Namibia. Because the four sub-species of the modern-day ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus, Struthio camelus australis, Struthio camelus massaicus, and Struthio camelus molybdophanes) inhabit the plains of Africa, and as recently as the 1940s, a fifth sub-species was also present in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia (Struthio camelus syriacus), records of Struthio from Kenya and Namibia testify to the much wider distribution of these cursorial birds in the relatively recent past. This is further supported by the very high frequency of ostrich eggshell fragments found across Africa and Eurasia, which vastly outweighs the amount of skeletal material uncovered over the last century.
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