Abstract We report a small hawk-like diurnal bird from the early Oligocene (30–31 million years ago) of Poland. Aviraptor longicrus , n. gen. et sp. is of a size comparable with the smallest extant Accipitridae. The new species is characterized by very long legs, which, together with the small size, suggest an avivorous (bird-eating) feeding behavior. Overall, the new species resembles extant sparrowhawks ( Accipiter spp.) in the length proportions of the major limb bones, even though some features indicate that it convergently acquired an Accipiter -like morphology. Most specialized avivores amongst extant accipitrids belong to the taxon Accipiter and predominantly predate small forest passerines; the smallest Accipiter species also hunts hummingbirds. Occurrence of a possibly avivorous raptor in the early Oligocene of Europe is particularly notable because A. longicrus coexisted with the earliest Northern Hemispheric passerines and modern-type hummingbirds. We therefore hypothesize that the diversification of these birds towards the early Oligocene may have triggered the evolution of small-sized avivorous raptors, and the new fossil may exemplify one of the earliest examples of avian predator/prey coevolution.
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