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RE: Several New Papers
> > That flamingos have evolved the "anseriform" bill
> > parallel, so much is fairly certain. The entire
> > morphotype seems fairly ancient, think
> > "Graculavidae", Laornis etc.
> What do you mean? AFAIK no skulls are known for any
> "graculavid" or *Laornis*.
kk, should have made break after "certain"; no
"graculavid" -> "large wading-bird", niche morphotype
of fairly basal Neognathae, no matter what the
relationships may be (the majority were stem
Charadriifomres and basal "wading Coronaves" IMHO)
Not sure about skulls BTW, must some day make list
what has been considered graculavid at one time or
another. A total wastebin. (Wasn't Thiornis sociata in
Validity of "Metaves" nonwithstanding; a) placement of
flamingos in these a la Fain/Houde is quite apparently
not correct b) grebes are the only candidates for
flamingos' sister clade advanced on reasonable
evidence that is also placed in Metaves IIRC:
"Graculavids" paraphyletic, S/A Ciconiiformes ditto,
Charadriiformes was a consequence of believing
graculavids were for real, Anseriformes certainly not
(flamingos not Galloanseres).
> > what does one, with the benefit of
> > hindsight, expect from fowl which hang out with
> > (and pelicans...)
I was dead wrong, as were most apparently... and more.
No "flamingo/duck" lice on the magpie goose.
> That's the point. Ducks are not "large pelagic
> birds". Many pelecaniforms are, and that's where the
> false-toothed birds used to be put.
Still, the niche was wide open. Possible? Entirely.
> > > There is, after all, not a single morphological
> > > phylogenetic analysis of Neornithes of a size
> > > can be taken even remotely seriously. The one in
> > > preparation by Livezey & Zusi will be the first.
Anything out on what the resolution will be yet?
Hmh, Livezey & Zusi. Interesting. Could be very very
cool, could be... debatable ;-)
The cool thing is: you learn about the actual
evolutionary patterns. I read the (BMC Evol?) paper on
woodcreepers some time ago - turns out that bills,
formerly used in phylogenetic studies, are wildly
autapomorphic. But some fine color patterns (stuff
like black streaks vs black droplets w/white spots)
are good indicators of relationship. Huh.
> There has been "much
> effort on the part of avian" phylogeneticists, but
> by far not enough, considering the sheer size of the
Let's talk again in 12 months ;-)
> Be careful with branch lengths. Those depend to a
> surprising degree on the _method_.
The visual aspect is a very very big and bad problem.
I wondered: if you took eg bootstrap values and
defined 100 = #000000 (black) and 0 = #FFFFFF (white),
it might help to visualize trees: lineages fade away
as they become more uncertain.
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