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Re: Metaves and Coronaves

On 9/12/04 11:41 am, "David Marjanovic" <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
nowhere is there any indication of
> _which_ members of Glareolidae and which members of Charadriidae (found to
> be paraphyletic) have ended up where! :-(

    Just a note - Haematopodidae and Recurvirostridae are well-connected to
Charadriidae (Sibley and Monroe, for instance, lumped them all in the same
family). A paraphyletic Charadriidae with regard to the other two is not
unbelievable - or it may hust be a vagary of analysis :-).
    Looking at the alignment, it's an especial pity that we don't get
individual taxa, as one of the 'Glareolidae' species is the quite
distinctive _Pluvianus aegyptius_. (the other is a _Rhinoptilus_ species,
and a more standard courser - no pratincoles in the analysis)

> IMHO it's interesting that the hoatzin and the seriemas have been considered
> close relatives. In the new tree, the hoatzin sits at the base of Metaves,
> while the seriemas are at the base of a low-bootstrap clade that also
> includes bustards, "higher waterbirds", cuckoos and turacos.

    I also can't help wondering, in light of its position, if the characters
that way back in the day were thought to link _Opisthocomus_ and Galliformes
are plesiomorphies of Neognathae. Throw in Tinamidae, and the common
ancestor of modern birds is beginning to look rather like a chook (or
rather, a partridge).

>       What was so bad about "Caprimulgiformes" + Strigiformes?

    I personally always liked the idea of a large nocturnal clade of birds -
alas, evolution sometimes just refuses to bow to aeesthetic...

>       (And isn't Pteroclididae the spelling?)

    I've got a suspicion that, if anything, the correct spelling is
Pterocleidae - I've seen all three, but simply went with the spelling used
by Houde and Fain. I think this question was debated here not so long ago,
wasn't it, with no well-established answer?
>> The only significant omission I can see is _Leptosomus_, the cuckoo
>> roller,
> Oh yes! It does, however, illustrate another of Fain & Houde's points: that
> many bird clades which today look like relicts from (Outer) Gondwana had a
> pantropical distribution in the Paleogene. The only known leptosomid besides
> *L.* itself, which is endemic to Madagascar, comes from Messel (Mayr &
> whoever, less than 2 years ago IIRC).

    Do you have a reference for this?
    I found the biogeography section of Fain & Houde to be somewhat
confused, and had a bit of difficulty trying to establish their point.


        Christopher Taylor