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Re: Mesozoic roots of parrots and passerine birds

Tim Williams <tijawi@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hmmm.... does anyone truly believe that falcons are more closely
> related to parrots and songbirds than to buzzards and hawks?

It's about as hard to believe as grebes being more closely related to
flamingos than to loons :o) Besides, the close relationship between
falconids and accipitrids had been questioned long before Ericson et
al. (2006) discovered the parrot-passerine link. Olson (1985), for
example, deconstructed Falconiformes as a whole: he excluded not only
falconids, but cathartids and _Pandion_ as well.

> Don't worry, Eufalconimorphae won't ever appear again.  Like Pegasoferae.

I hope it will! It's not a terribly elegant name, but at least it is
useful. It is also nice to see Mayr's names (Aequornithes and
Picocoraciae) so quickly adopted by Suh et al. (2011). So far there
have been many names for (probably) nonexistent "supraordinal" clades
and none for well-supported ones; that's starting to change now.


Ericson PGP, Anderson CL, Britton T, Elżanowski A, Johansson US,
Källersjö M, Ohlson JI, Parsons TJ, Zuccon D, Mayr G 2006
Diversification of Neoaves: Integration of molecular sequence data and
fossils. Biol Lett 2(4): 543-7

Olson SL 1985 The fossil record of birds. 79-238 in Farner DS, King
JR, Parkes KC, eds. _Avian biology_, Vol. 8. New York: Acad Press

Suh A, Paus M, Kiefmann M, Churakov G, Franke FA, Brosius J, Kriegs
JO, Schmitz J 2011 Mesozoic retroposons reveal parrots as the closest
living relatives of passerine birds. Nature Comms
David Černý