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Re: vultures and musophagids

Matthew Troutman wrote:

>Anyway, in regards to Ron's statement that most workers think that vulturids 
>are derived ciconiids is not really true.  Yes, Sibley and Alquist have 
>presented much molecular evidence and it is generally accepted that 
>vulturids are storks, but not everyone is willing to say so.  Cracraft has 
>been rather cautious on this in his papers (unlike his grouping of owls with 
>falconiforms; other than vulturids in his phylogeny).  Griffiths has 
>presented three syringeal characters (taken from a select group of birds) 
>that support a vulturid-falconiform clade (one of the characters is found in 
>an owl however).  The debate is still open.

>From what I know about avian phylogeny, the question is whether New World
and Old World vultures are in fact related to one another in the first
place. Some authors exclude the latter from all other falconiforms and do
group them with the storks (there's a scavenging, vulture-like stork, the

Then there's a suggestion that the maverick members of the Falconiformes
and Strigiformes, hawks (?) and barn owls respectively, share some
similarities, which might point to a divergence of Falconiformes from a
Strigiformes + Caprimulgiformes clade.

Raymond Thaddeus C. Ancog
Mines and Geosciences Bureau