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Re: Sauropodz r kewl WAS: silly conversation on 2012 US presidential race

Mike Keesey <keesey@gmail.com> wrote:

> Being a small extant taxon with a much larger sister group? There are
> plenty of dinosaurian taxa like that. How about Struthio (sister to
> the rest of Palaeognathae), Anhimidae (sister to Anseres), or Coliidae
> (sister to the rest of Dendrornithes)?

I understand it's not the main point of your post, but Coliidae are
currently considered a "rogue taxon" and any statements about their
relationships are extremely premature. They are landbirds, but beyond
that, we just don't know. A single dataset (Wang et al. 2011) managed
to find them in a sister group relationship with trogons, parrots,
falcons, passerines, Psittacopasserae or the (seriemas +
Eufalconimorphae) and (trogons + Picocoraciae) clades, depending on
the method and alignment used. Apart from the hoatzin, there is
probably no other extant avian taxon with a comparable number of
proposed phylogenetic positions.

Also, "Dendrornithes" probably doesn't exist. Given that Livezey and
Zusi didn't provide any phylogenetic definition for the name, the only
clue to what they intended it to mean is its listed content, which is
quite different from the "landbird assemblage" strongly supported by
recent molecular phylogenies. Unfortunately, there is no formal name
for the latter group.


Wang N, Braun EL, Kimball RT 2011 Testing hypotheses about the sister
group of the Passeriformes using an independent 30-locus data set. Mol
Biol Evol 29(2): 737-50

David Černý