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Re: Tinamous: living dinosaurs


On Jun 27, 2011, at 2:51 PM, David Marjanovic wrote:

>> > 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.

Jason Brougham
Senior Principal Preparator
American Museum of Natural History
(212) 496 3544