Subspecific identity of prehistoric Baltic Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo.

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) Science Article 30


Cormorants of the subspecies Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis breed in large numbers in the Baltic Sea. They migrate to the Mediterranean region to winter and are then replaced in the Baltic by wintering individuals of the Norwegian population of the nominate subspecies carbo. Cormorants bred in the Baltic during prehistoric times too, but as evident from a comparison of skeletal measurements in present-day and prehistoric Cormorants, these individuals belonged to the nominate subspecies carbo. The Swedish subfossil record of the Cormorants available for study, does not include any remains small enough to suggest the presence of sinensis. Precisely when the subspecies sinensis immigrated into the Baltic is unknown, but it must have occurred sometime between 1500 and 1800 AD.

Ericson P.G.P. & Hernandez-Carrasquilla F., ARDEA 85 (1): 1-7.

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