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Re: Tinamous: living dinosaurs



> First of all, tinamous ARE ratites despite their size and flying
> ability, so there is no reason to assume that their brooding habits
> were independently acquired.

 I was not aware of that. When you say ARE, which phylogentic
 hypothesis/taxonomy are you referring to? Tinamous are usually
 classified in their own Order, Tinamiformes, distinct from the
 Ratitae, aren't they? Hackett et al. (Science 320 (2008) did nest
 tinamous within the "Struthioniformes", but they refer to the
 Paleognathae as "ratites and tinamous". Other phylogenies, such as
 Dyke & Van Tuinen, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 141
 (2004), found tinamous to be more primitive than any ratite.

Both Hackett et al. (2008) and Harshman et al. (2008), using larger datasets than anyone else, independently found the tinamous to be nested deeply within the paleognaths. There are no ratites, there's just a bunch of paleognaths that lost flight several times independently.

Why do you use a classification as evidence in a discussion about phylogenetics? Classifications are (hopefully) _based on_ well-tested phylogenetic hypotheses, not the other way around.