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Re: Metaves and Coronaves

On 10/12/04 12:29 pm, "David Marjanovic" <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:

>>    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)
> No pratincoles? As a complete layman, I'd expect the flying, short-legged
> pratincoles and the mostly running, long-legged coursers would be the first
> to flee each other...

>From memory, _Pluvianus_ (the legendary 'crocodile bird') is the bridge
between the two, albeit slightly more courser-like (in contrast, _Stiltia
isabella_ [the Australian pratincole] is the linker on the pratincole side).
http://www.worldbirder.com/photonew/xpages/photo.asp?PhotoID=466 for a pic
of _Pluvianus_.

>> [...] the common ancestor of modern birds is beginning
>> to look rather like a chook (or rather, a partridge).
> The famous "heavy-bodied ground bird" :-)

And on the next 'Celebrity Deathmatch' - Sibley's 'heavy-bodied ground bird'
takes on Feduccia's 'transitional shorebird'. THRILL as the shorebird
flashes its Graculavid of Doooooooom! GAWP at the ground bird's RAG-2 of

    Now offering his services as bookie - yours,

        Christopher Taylor