new bird phylogeny
"John Leonard" <>
Fri, 27 Jun 2008 17:21:39 +1000
I think is interesting. Pity we can't get access to the full paper.
The business about the Tinamous is puzzling, but the
hummingbird/nightjar link could be explained by having their common
ancestor a diurnal bird, nightjars then later becoming nocturnal as
the hummingbirds became specialised for nectar feeding.
2008/6/27 Andrew Taylor <>:
> I've appended the abstract of a new paper in Science. Unfortunately its
> not publicly available. Although you might be able to see their
> phylogentic tree here:
> Among the more interesting results are parrots are placed as a sister-taxa
> to passerines, falcons split from other raptors and placed next to
> parrots/passerines and a sister relationship between grebes & flamingos.
> I don't understand how some claims can be supported - tinamous having
> a flightless ancestor and hummingbirds/swifts having a nocturnal ancestor.
> but the paper is pretty terse.
> A Phylogenomic Study of Birds Reveals Their Evolutionary History
> Hackett et al.
> "Deep avian evolutionary relationships have been difficult to resolve as a
> result of a putative explosive radiation. Our study examined ~32 kilobases
> of aligned nuclear DNA sequences from 19 independent loci for 169 species,
> representing all major extant groups, and recovered a robust phylogeny
> from a genome-wide signal supported by multiple analytical methods. We
> documented well-supported, previously unrecognized interordinal
> relationships (such as a sister relationship between passerines and
> parrots) and corroborated previously contentious groupings (such as
> flamingos and grebes). Our conclusions challenge current classifications
> and alter our understanding of trait evolution; for example, some diurnal
> birds evolved from nocturnal ancestors. Our results provide a valuable
> resource for phylogenetic and comparative studies in birds."
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