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Re: Livezey and Zusi's big bird morph analysis [...]
David Marjanovic wrote:
Livezey & Zusi use it just like everyone else: it's the sister-group of
Given that grebes and flamingoes are found by Livezey and Zusi to be *not*
closely related, Sangster's Mirandornithes (named for the flamingo-grebe
clade) actually becomes equivalent in content to Neoaves!
What might happen if someone adds the plotopterids...? Livezey and Zusi
outright say (p. 26) that they "did not merit analysis herein" because
their skulls are "woefully incomplete".
I agree. It can't hurt to include taxa like the plotopterids, incomplete or
not. It could be fun/interesting to see what effect it has.
As for the proposed grebe-loon clade, L & Z point out that this clade does
not include *all* foot-propelled diving birds, like hesperornithids for
example. So it's not just a case of convergence being mistaken for a 'real'
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