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MAYR ON PELECANIFORMS etc



On ferugliotheriids, David Marjanovic wrote...

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I say they are australosphenidans. Simply because this 
hasn't been proposed yet AFAIK, because they have a 
western Outer Gondwanan distribution, and because they 
share an important plesiomorphy (6 cusps arranged in 2 
connected triangles). :o) 
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One more thing I should have mentioned is that at least 
some material referred to _Ferugliotherium_ (i.e., not the 
type material) really is multituberculate after all - see 
Kielan-Jaworowska & Hurum's 2001 paper 
(_Palaeontology_ 44, 389-429) among others. They don't 
say what kind of multituberculate this material might 
represent though.

On Mayr's (2003) paper on the phylogenetic position of 
trogons, David asked.....

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Was there a comment on where Coraciiformes and/or 
Alcediniformes sit in that tree, and if hummingbirds are 
Apodiformes?
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Mayr finds the sister-group of Strigiformes + 
(Cypselomorphae + (Steatornithidae + Trogonidae)) to be 
Coliiformes + unresolved trichotomy of 
Coraciidae/Brachypteraciidae, Alcediniformes and 
Upupiformes. As is clear from his other papers as well as 
this one, Mayr does not support monophyly of 
'Coraciiformes' sensu Wetmore. He does regard 
hummingbirds as Apodiformes (I don't think there's 
anybody today that really does hold out for apodiform 
polyphyly) BUT for a better answer on this I understand 
Mayr has a paper in the new edition of _Auk_ (presumably 
vol. 120, ish 1) on apodiform phylogeny. I haven't seen this 
yet.

ALSO OUT is...

Mayr, G. 2003. The phylogenetic affinities of the Shoebill 
(_Balaeniceps rex_). _J. Ornithol._ 144, 157-175.

What can I say but yikes. Firstly, ciconiiforms s.s., 
procellariiforms and pelecaniforms all form a clade. 
Procellariiform monophyly is supported (contra Cracraft 
1985, Siegel-Causey 1997, Dyke 2001) and monophyly of 
Steganopodes (fregatids, pelecanids, sulids, 
phalacrocoracids and anhingids) is supported. 
_Balaeniceps_ is found to be sister-taxon to Steganopodes 
and scopids are the sister-taxon to Balaenicipitidae + 
Steganopodes. 

Though a position close to/within pelecaniforms for 
balaenicipitids has been on the cards for a while (e.g., 
Hedges & Sibley 1994, Siegel-Causey 1997, Livezey & 
Zusi 2001 all find a Balaenicipitidae + Pelecanidae clade), 
the finding of scopids as the sister-taxon to Balaenicipitidae 
+ Steganopodes renders ciconiiforms s.s. polyphyletic. 
Furthermore, phaethontids are suggested to be the sister-
taxon to procellariiforms (contra Cracraft 1985), making 
pelecaniforms polyphyletic as well. Of remaining 
ciconiiforms s.s., monophyly of a threskiornithid + ciconiid 
+ ardeid clade is hinted at with this clade, the phaetontidae 
+ procellariform clade and the (Scopidae + 
(Balaenicipitidae + Steganopodes)) clade forming a 
trichotomy. In the consensus tree though ciconiids are the 
sister-taxon to Scopidae + (Balaenicipitidae + 
Steganopodes).

All 54 characters used in this study are listed and discussed. 
The analysis itself was performed in PAUP 3.1.

-- 
Darren Naish
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth UK, PO1 3QL

email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
tel: 023 92846045