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Re: RATITES AND BROODING



In a message dated 3/8/99, Tom Holtz passed along Matt Troutman's note,
including the following:

<< Avian phylogenies provide ambiguous support for plesiomorphy of brooding 
>behavior in neornthines.  As I pointed out . . . . most of these birds 
>are highly colonial and that may have something to do with sheltering.  
>Obviously, we need more evidence. >>

Yep. I can hardly wait for the more-thorough molecular data which will nail
down every bird's relation with every other without ambiguity (I'm not
kidding). But that day is probably ten years off. Until then, I accept your
assessment that relationships are ambiguous enough for doubt. But, especially
with the ostrich in the mix, the case for basal wing-feather brooding bears,
at the least, some watching and consideration.
    Tom Hopp