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Re: NEORNITHINE PHYLOGENY etc / Gondwanan groups



> So, if Neornithes came from Southern Hemisphere, we must expect:
> 1) a Gondwanan basal group, with a first splite between an African and a
> Neogondwanan branch (S.America+Antarctica+Australia+Indomadagascar)

If Neornithes did already exist in the Early Cretaceous.

> 2) From South America, a Late Cretaceous branch reaching North America (in
> Ratites, this can be the wasy of Palaeotis group; in Galloanserae, the
> oldest North American galliformes and perhaps the Diatryma); from India, a
> Late Cretaceous/Paleocene branch reaching Asia (in Ratites, the ostrich
> group - unless they came from Africa).

>From India to Asia? Interesting idea (ranid frogs did it). AFAIK ostriches
were in Asia first... Am I wrong?
BTW, IMHO the new embryological study which finds that ratites lost flight
several times independently doesn't challenge the monophyly of Ratitae, it
just says that by coincidence all extant ratites are flightless. A single
loss of flight would imply that ostriches and rheas (sister groups) diverged
deep in the EK and that kiwis (sister to emus + cassowaries, not moas) can't
possibly have reached New Zealand.

> 3) Australian groups could reach Asia through Indonesia in
the...Oligocene?
> Eocene?

The oldest European ( = non-Australian) known songbird is Oligocene, IIRC.

> 4) The Afrotheria included elephants, sirenians, hyraxes, elephant-shrews,
> tenrecs, golden moles, aardvarks. There's no carnivorous group in such
> clade. Who were the Africa meat-eating mammals before the arriving of
> Carnivora? Hyaenodonta?

Some sort of creodonts were there and lasted very long (Miocene? Pliocene
even?). I don't know when they first appeared in Africa (IIRC the first
North American ones are Paleocene), however, as HP Darren Naish has informed
us, *Eremopezus* was a large terrestrial carnivorous bird in the IIRC
Oligocene.

Maybe creodonts are afrotheres? Unlikely IMHO, but Afrotheria was found by
DNA comparisons only, not a single morphological synapomorphy has appeared
so far...