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A new paper on swelled-headed, stump-tailed, flying mutants...
...or as they are better known as, neornithine birds:
van Tuinen, M., C.G. Sibley & S.B. Hedges. 2000. The early history of
modern birds inferred from DNA sequences of nuclear and mitochondrial
ribosomal genes. Molecular Biology & Evolution 17: 451-457.
Unlike a number of recent molecular phylogenies of birds, this one (with
some really good taxon sampling) supports something very close to the
Tinamous are the sister group to the ratites, within Palaeognathae;
A monophyletic Neognathae comprised of Galloanserae (chickens & ducks, aka
"the tasty birds") and Neoaves (everything else, with a number of extremely
short branches at the base).
By inference of the basal members of each of the living lineages, the
ancestral neornithine was a large-bodied, ground-dwelling, nonmarine bird.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: email@example.com
Fax (Geol): 301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-314-7843