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RE: Combined answer Re: Avian origins: new analysis confirms ancient beginnings

> The question is when in the Cretaceous -- just
> before its end, or around the 
> time the Yixian Fm was deposited???

If I had to choose, I'd quite confidently say "100 Ma
or so". Easy to remember, probably not much more than
10% off the mark.

> And *Brontornis*, which used to be considered a
> phorusrhacoid, but was 
> recently redescribed as an anseriform in a paper
> that I still haven't read. 
> (Actually I'm waiting for Darren to blog about it.
> :-> )

Ah, you saw it too. The prospect of cross-reading this
vs Alvarenga/Höfling's description of the material
sort of put me off... (If I were Darren I'd NOT do the
doves BTW. The Fiji one is nice, but didines are a
hell of a minefield ATM, oogles of obscure and hard to
get new papers, and I still seem to be the only one
who ever noticed that the aDNA PCR in the "Flight of
the Dodo" paper seems to have fscked up a bit. And
doves in general... the fricking *Hoatzin* has a
better fossil record...)

(Columbiformes are among the major mysteries. Here
indeed we either have a huge "ghost" fossil record or
the mol data is very deeply flawed. For Cuculiformes
we at least have tentative hints that they may have
started early)


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