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Moa-Tinamou Clade Found Within Ratites



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

Here's the citation and link for the new paper on ratite evolution:


Allan J. Baker, Oliver Haddrath, John D. McPherson and Alison Cloutier (2014)
Genomic Support for a Moa-Tinamou Clade and Adaptive Morphological
Convergence in Flightless Ratites.
Molecular Biology and Evolution (advance online publication)
doi: 10.1093/molbev/msu153
http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/05/09/molbev.msu153.abstract


One of the most startling discoveries in avian molecular phylogenetics
is that the volant tinamous are embedded in the flightless ratites,
but this topology remains controversial because recent morphological
phylogenies place tinamous as the closest relative of a monophyletic
ratite clade. Here, we integrate new phylogenomic sequences from 1,448
nuclear DNA loci totalling almost one million base pairs from the
extinct little bush moa, Chilean tinamou and emu with available
sequences from ostrich, elegant crested tinamou, four neognaths and
the green anole. Phylogenetic analysis using standard homogeneous
models and heterogeneous models robust to common topological artefacts
recovered compelling support for ratite paraphyly with the little bush
moa closest to tinamous within ratites. Ratite paraphyly was further
corroborated by eight independent CR1 retroposon insertions. Analysis
of morphological characters reinterpreted on a 27-gene paleognath
topology indicates that many characters are convergent in the ratites,
probably as the result of adaptation to a cursorial life style.