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The evolutionary radiation of modern birds (Neornithes): reconciling molecules, morphology and the fossil record

Dyke, Gareth J. and van Tuinen, Marcel (2004) The evolutionary radiation of modern birds (Neornithes): reconciling molecules, morphology and the fossil record Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 141, (2), pp. 153-177. (doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2004.00118.x).

Record type: Article


The pattern, timing and extent of the evolutionary radiation of anatomically modern birds (Neornithes) remains contentious: dramatically different timescales for this major event in vertebrate evolution have been recovered by the ‘clock-like’ modelling of molecular sequence data and from evidence extracted from the known fossil record. Because current synthesis would lead us to believe that fossil and nonfossil evidence conflict with regard to the neornithine timescale, especially at its base, it is high time that available data are reconciled to determine more exactly the evolutionary radiation of modern birds. In this review we highlight current understanding of the early fossil history of Neornithes in conjunction with available phylogenetic resolution for the major extant clades, as well as recent advancements in genetic methods that have constrained time estimates for major evolutionary divergences. Although the use of molecular approaches for timing the radiation of Neornithes is emphasized, the tenet of this review remains the fossil record of the major neornithine subdivisions and better-preserved taxa. Fossils allowing clear phylogenetic constraint of taxa are central to future work in the production of accurate molecular calibrations of the neornithine evolutionary timescale

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Published date: June 2004
Keywords: aves, cladistics, cretaceous–tertiary (K–T) boundary, divergence, molecular clocks, phylogeny, systematics
Organisations: Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems


Local EPrints ID: 205265
ISSN: 0024-4082
PURE UUID: 5f8cc813-aacb-4e95-b4ed-e1ef60159cbf

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Date deposited: 08 Dec 2011 10:13
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:04

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Author: Gareth J. Dyke
Author: Marcel van Tuinen

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