Taxa in the heron-cuckoo clade

As earlier, here are a selection of extant taxa in a subset of the LRT in their evolutionary order. This is the heron-cuckoo clade (Figs. 1, 2).

Figure 1. Taxa in the parallel heron and cuckoo clades.

Figure 1. Taxa in the parallel heron and cuckoo clades, all within a single clade.

Eudromius – long-leg terrestrial omnivore (paleognath clade)

Sagittarius – stilt-leg, hook-beak terrestrial predator (hawk/owl clade)

Heron clade

Ardeotis – stilt-leg, straight-beak terrestrial predator

Ciconia – stilt-leg, straight-beak terrestrial predator

Butroides – stilt-leg, straight-beak terrestrial predator

Ardea – stilt-leg, straight-beak terrestrial predator

Cuckoo clade

Psophia – stilt-leg, curved-beak terrestrial omnivore

Menura – stilt-leg, curved-beak terrestrial insectivore

Geococcyx – stilt-leg, straight-beak terrestrial predator/insectivore

Monias – aerial, curved-beak aerial/terrestrial omnivore

Coccyzus – aerial, curved-beak aerial

Figure 1. Subset of the LRT focusing on birds. Here various aspects of birds are shown, including age, teeth, feeding behavior and basic clades.

Figure 1. Subset of the LRT focusing on birds. Here various aspects of birds are shown, including age, teeth, feeding behavior and basic clades.

 

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14 thoughts on “Taxa in the heron-cuckoo clade

  1. Because, DNA does not match tree topologies generated using fossils and physical traits. This is something you can see with your own eyes at first glance (see above), and after software has crunched the numbers. Note how workers are bending over backwards trying to make turtles archosaurs or grebes flamingo sisters. It’s laughable and sad. DNA works great among congeneric taxa, not so well over greater phylo distances, and it’s okay to recognize this, as many others have done so already.

    • Because, DNA does not match tree topologies generated using fossils and physical traits.

      So… why does that make DNA wrong?

      DNA works great among congeneric taxa, not so well over greater phylo distances, and it’s okay to recognize this, as many others have done so already.

      I can’t think of any that have done so already. Sure, different genes evolve at different average rates and therefore resolve nodes at different time depths; if you try to do vertebrate phylogenetics with mitochondrial genomes, you get a load of nonsense because all synapomorphies of that age range have been overwritten by newer mutations. But other genes work just fine (e.g. Irisarri et al., 2017).

      On turtles, molecules put them just inside the diapsid crown-group, and morphology puts them just outside. That’s not as much of a difference as you make it sound. Personally, I think the big question here isn’t the position of the turtles, but the position of the lepidosaurs! The squamates sit at the end of a long branch, and the rhynchocephalians are underresearched and, nowadays, impoverished…

      • Oh, I forgot about grebes and flamingos. Have you read Gerald Mayr’s papers on this? Once he started looking, he found several synapomorphies, and also some that both share with Juncitarsus.

  2. the possibility of a ‘false positive’ using gene sequencing already has been demonstrated in primate studies

    Mallick, S. et al. The difficulty in avoiding false positives in genome scans for natural selection. Genome Res. 19: 922-933 (2009).

      • Find a morphological study that matches a genomic study and everything will be hunky-dory! Until then, my friend, we have an issue that can only be solved by morphology and fossils (except in the realm of the genus, in which DNA is the finer toothed comb.)

      • I find that a baffling thing to say; the number of phylogenetic analyses of the same group using morphological or molecular data that find the same topology is really large. Well, I recommend you start here

      • I find that a baffling thing to say; the number of phylogenetic analyses of the same group using morphological or molecular data that find the same topology is really large. Well, I recommend you start with the paper you can find at the DOI 10.1038/s41559-017-0240-5. Posting a link got the comment treated as spam.

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