new bird phylogeny

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: new bird phylogeny
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2008 14:35:48 +1000
On Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 08:51:20AM +1000, John Leonard wrote:
> I think this may just be careless writing, DNA can tell you about
> relationships and ancestry, but it can't tell you whether a bird is
> nocturnal or not without seeing the phenotype!

Given the topology of the phylogenetic tree they have inferred I see
three possibilities:

a) swifts/hummingbirds have a nocturnal ancestor
b) nocturnal adaptions arose multiple times among the caprimulgiformes
c) their tree is incorrect

(a) is suprising and (b) is unlikely but I don't understand how they can be
confident  that (c) isn't the case - but that may be my ignorance.


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