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Re: emu history

At 05:23 PM 1/14/2004, Tim Williams wrote:
Is the idea that kiwis are the sistergroup of emus + cassowaries older than the idea that kiwis and moas comprise a monophyletic group?

According to The Lost World of the Moa (p. 135), the picture is pretty complicated:

Mivart (1877), Furbringer (1888) and Parker (1895) considered kiwis to be closest to moas, with Mivart regarding the moa-kiwi and emu-cassowary lineages as sister-groups;
Pycraft (1900) allied moas to aepyornithids;
Cracraft (1974) allied moas and kiwis;
Bledsoe (1988) allied kiwis with emus and cassowaries, with moas basal to other flightless ratite groups;
Lee (1997) agreed with Cracraft;
Cooper (1997) agreed more or less with Bledsoe, but rheas are basal to moas, which are basal to the other flightless groups (aepyornithids were not examined);
Cooper (2001), with more mtDNA data including aepyornithid data; aepyornithids are not close to any modern group; ostriches reached Africa from the Indo-Madagascan block via Eurasia, NOT directly from Antarctica to Africa; kiwis are well-separated from moas, and allied to emus and cassowaries with the two lineages splitting some 68 MYA, well after New Zealand split off, so if this is correct kiwis reached NZ over water.

Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
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