[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
AW: Shaking up the bird family tree
I won't discuss the article, but
Left, reading downwards:
clade H: Very good. Many isolated lineages are liable to reshuffling, but
overall a nice phylogeny.
turacos and "clade" I: Look how weakly supported they are! These are not
clades, man! Cuculiform and Gruiformes s.str. resolution looks nice tho.
Hoatzin: yeah right. Well it hangs out with cuculiforms and turacos, which may
Clade L: cypselomorphs. Oilbird goes mit Caprimulgiformes s.str., which is
Clade M: Good.
The pigeon-and-so-on stuff: The weird thing is that it would perfectly resolve
most of what we known (which is not enough and hitherto contradictory). Huh.
The nodes the news tout here are VERY weak. The Mirandornithes are however a
group that would need to be discussed on their own, like clade M. Distinctness
of tropicbirds is assured. Mesites and sandgrouse, maybe, and pigeons WTF? But
I do not think it can be falsified (it's more reasonable than the proposed
"Cretaceous" origin of Columbiformes). The tropicbirds have a deep fossil
record, and it shows that they are very VERY deep. The later radiation has a
very lousy fossil record.
What happened to sandgrouse as charadriimorphs?
Galliformes: Yeah, that's how they look. Nice taxon sampling BTW. Only thing
missing might be a grouse, just to flaunt them (as Neogene pheasants in arctic
Anseriformes: _Thalassornis_, _Cyanochen_, _Pteronetta_, _Plectopterus_ would
be reasonable additions that come to mind. _Biziura_ and _Oxyura_ are so weakly
supported (they are probably much closer; the signal of _Oxyura_ seems skewed).
Putting at least 1 of the above and a shelduck in would probably improve the
paleognaths: WTF?! But the internal relationships are correct *relative* to
each other, if you put the base a bit crownwards of the base of the tinamous.
What to make of that IONO.
(right side read upwards)
Charadriiformes are too advanced. The fossil record indicates *quite* strongly
that they should precede Ciconiiformes et al. (Turnix is far far lower; IIRC
the fossil record of such birds much predates anything that is like a gull or
Clade E: I would not trust this. Support is not particularly strong, and one
major branch *might* be genomically aberrant (they are notorious for "wild"
behavior in molecular phylogenetics) Accipitrid resolution in as good as it
gets with 4 taxa. But accipitrids are OLD as far as anyone knows. (Where would
Coliiformes + Strigiformes? Why not. But *what* about the Strigiformes and
(What happens if you removed the whole of the Charadriiformes? Look how weak
the support is in a whole section of the tree!)
Clade D: _Leptosomus_ is messing this up. What happens if you remove it?
Trogons with the other guys? Perfect!
Clade C: According to what I have seen, Passeriformes would attach near the
internal node that has 99% support; go figure. "Woodpeckers evolved from
Coraciiformes", well, as if hoopoes and hornbills were ever especially
representative of Coraciiformes... Glad we're rid of that. _Brachypteracias_:
Heh. The whole thing looks MUCH more beautiful if you map in the fossils from
Messel et al. The clade from the trogons onwards, has a beautifully diverse
seriemas: What happens if you prune them? They may be close to Falconiformes
(s.l.), but how do THEY get to be THERE?
Nodes B+A: Though Shalt Not Discuss "clades" With Less Than 80% ML Support. At
least not in mol-phyl.
It's not the first time something vaguely resembling this is found, but
everything else suggests that it's a glorious case of long branch attraction.
In some studies Passeriformes go near the BASE of the entire neoavian tree;
they are notoriously jumpy but morphologically *rather* distinctive.
Falconiformes are liable to lose their partner (hawks) and go wild.
What would happen if the Falconiformes were removed? Would the NW vultures and
accipitrids pop towards clade H perchance? And the Passeriformes and
psittaciformes dislocate in and around clade C?
Parrots are also "jumpy" but there is a pattern. They are not seldom are
resolved in the general vicinity of the near passerines.
Acanthisitti: There you have it again. Nice.
Suboscines: That's basically how they look like, yes. Fossils are scarce, but
the crown biogeography says a lot.
Basal oscines: Nice taxon sampling makes the "Corvida" of DNA-DNA hybridization
fame a neat Henningian comb.
_Picahartes_ would immensely benefit form adding any 2 of:
* a petroica
* a fairy-bluebird
* a hyliota
Bad taxon sampling makes the non-Passeriodea Passerida suck. Add at least 4 of
the following to sort it out:
* Bearded Reedling
* Philippines "treecreeper"
* (Eurasian) treecreeper
In summary, the "backbone" of the tree looks flawed. There are clear and good
clades recognizable (superorders if thats your game), but the position of about
1/3 of these relative to each other runs contrary to what other information we
have. It's not the first time something like this happens.
The actual branch lengths will probably show immediately what the problem is.
Cracraft et al (2004) have a very nice collection of trees from sundry data to
look up against this.
The K-Pg boundary is someplace in this "uncertainty region" that resists
Gesendet von Yahoo! Mail.
Dem pfiffigeren Posteingang.