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Re: The duck that ruled the world.

It's very fascinating these new discoveries about the interordinal
relationships of birds. Diatryma and Gastornis have been also put in the
Galloanserae (Anseriformes + Galliformes and alike). If Galloanserae was one
of the most basal offshoots of Neognathae, and they were widespread over
Neogondwana (South America, Antarctica and Australia), there's much to be
discovered yet. Maybe Palaeocene/Eocene from Neogondwana will reveal many
odd birds still unknown. I've read in a site about ratites thar kiwis maybe
could have an aquatic origin - they'd have reached New Zealand by swimming.

Joao SL
----- Original Message -----
From: Timothy Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com>
To: <goodmr@pop.ses.curtin.edu.au>; <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Friday, May 26, 2000 11:30 AM
Subject: Re: The duck that ruled the world.

> Finback wrote:
> > > Wow!  The implication is that the dromornithids - the largest birds >
> >that ever lived - were not ratites but giant members of the >
> >(ducks, geese, swans).
> > This doesn't seem that recent a revelation. In Michael Archer and
> >Hand's "The Antipodean Ark" [1987], Pat Rich said:
> >"Although _Ilbandornis_ and other mihirungs have been called "giant
> >they are quite distinct from emus and cassowaries and in fact > show
> >affinity to the game bird group to wwhich quail and the domestic fowl
> >belong."
> Quail and domestic fowl are Galliformes.  Ducks and kin are Anseriformes.
> Until about 15 years ago, the mihirungs (Dromornithidae)were assumed to be
> related to the emu and cassowaries (Casuariformes).
> >And this raises a question - aren't kiwis considered to be essentially
> >moas, albeit aberrant pygmy forms? Or am I getting my dromornithids mixed
> >up with moas?
> Moas and kiwis are Dinornithiformes.  Moas (_Dinornis_, _Euryapteryx_,
> _Emeus_, _Pachyornis_, _Megalapteryx_, _Anomalopteryx_) belong to two
> families, Dinornithidae and Emeidae, within the Dinornithiformes.  Kiwis
> (_Apteryx_), which are still with us, belong to a third family,
> Tim
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