Abstract

A new species of small crested caracara, Caracara seymouri, from Quaternary asphalt deposits of the Talara Tar Seeps, northwestern Peru, is described from most major elements of the skeleton. Specimens reported in the literature from late Pleistocene deposits at La Carolina, Ecuador, are referred to the same species. These fossils had previously been identified as Polyborus (now Caracara) plancus, but they possess a combination of characters not present in the living species of caracaras, C. plancus or C. cheriway and are from a much smaller and more gracile bird. Caracara seymouri is similar in size to the extinct species C. creightoni from the Bahamas and Cuba but differs in having the skeletal elements less robust, especially the premaxilla. This is the second paleospecies described for the genus Caracara in the Quaternary of South America.

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