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Neognaths
Temporal range: Early CretaceousHolocene, 120–0 Ma [1]
Red Junglefowl
Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus)
House Sparrow
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Infraclass: Neognathae
Pycraft, 1900
Subgroups

Neognaths (Neognathae) are birds within the subclass Neornithes of the class Aves. The Neognathae include virtually all living birds; exceptions being their sister taxon (Palaeognathae), which contains the tinamous and the flightless ratites.

There are nearly 10,000 species of neognaths. The earliest fossils are known from the very end of the Cretaceous but molecular clocks suggest that neognaths originated sometime in the first half of the Late Cretaceous about 90 million year ago.[2] Since then, they have undergone adaptive radiation producing the diversity of form, function, and behavior that we see today. It includes the order Passeriformes (perching birds), the largest clade of land vertebrates, containing some 60% of living birds and being more than twice as speciose as rodents and about five times as speciose as Chiroptera (bats), which are the largest clades of mammals. There are also some very small orders, usually birds of very unclear relationships like the puzzling hoatzin.

The neognaths have fused metacarpals, an elongate third finger, and 13 or fewer vertebrae. They differ from the Palaeognathae in features like the structure of their jawbones. "Neognathae" means "new jaws", but it seems that the supposedly "more ancient" paleognath jaws are among the few apomorphic (more derived) features of this group as compared to the neognaths.[citation needed]

Taxonomy and systematics

The Neognathae were long ranked as a superorder and not subdivided any further. Attempts to do so, as in the Conspectus of Charles Lucien Bonaparte, were never accepted by a significant majority of ornithologists. Until the 1980s, there was little subdivision of the Aves in general, and even less of phylogenetic merit. Since then, the availability of massive amounts of new data from fossils (especially Enantiornithes and other Mesozoic birds) and molecular (DNA and protein) sequences allowed scientists to refine the classification. With new groups of neognath orders being verified, the taxonomic rank of the group needed to shift. Most researchers have now employed the unranked taxa of phylogenetic nomenclature.[3]

The Neognathae are universally accepted to subdivide into two lineages, the "fowl" clade Galloanseres and the Neoaves (sometimes called "higher neognaths"). The subdivisions of the latter are still not well resolved, but several monophyletic lineages have been proposed, such as the Mirandornithes, Cypselomorphae, Metaves, and Coronaves. Although groups such as the former two (uniting a few closely related orders) are robustly supported, this cannot be said for the Metaves and Coronaves division for which there is no material evidence at present, while the Mesozoic record of Neognathae is at present utterly devoid of birds that should have been present if these proposed clades were real.[4]

Systematics

The orders are arranged in a sequence that attempts to follow the modern view on neognath phylogeny. It differs from the widely used Clements taxonomy as well as from the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy, combining those elements from each that more modern research agrees with while updating those that are refuted. Most of the changes affect those "higher landbirds" that are sometimes united as near passerines.[5]

Neognathia

Feduccia defined the clade Neognathia as birds whose palatal mobility increased due to the following modifications (Feduccia 1980, 1996):

Relationships

Neognathae cladogram of modern bird relationships based on Prum, R.O. et al. (2015)[6] with some clade names after Yury, T. et al. (2013)[7] and Kimball et al. 2013.[8]

Neognathae


Galloanserae


Galliformes (chickens and relatives) Red Junglefowl



Anseriformes (ducks and relatives) 50 px



Neoaves


Strisores (hummingbirds and relatives) Mascarene Swiftlet



Columbaves

Otidimorphae


Musophagiformes (turacos)50 px




Otidiformes (bustards)30 px



Cuculiformes (cuckoos)Common Cuckoo




Columbimorphae


Columbiformes (pigeons) 50 px




Mesitornithiformes (mesites)50 px



Pteroclidiformes (sandgrouse)Four-banded Sandgrouse







Gruiformes (rails and cranes)50 px



Aequorlitornithes


Mirandornithes


Phoenicopteriformes (flamingos)50 px



Podicipediformes (grebes)50 px




Charadriiformes (waders and relatives)Arctic Tern




Eurypygimorphae


Phaethontiformes (tropicbirds)50 px



Eurypygiformes (sunbittern and kagu)50 px




Aequornithes (waterbirds)30 px50 px




Inopinaves


Opisthocomiformes (hoatzin)Hoatzin


Telluraves

Afroaves

Accipitrimorphae


Cathartiformes (New World vultures)Black Vulture



Accipitriformes (hawks and relatives)Pearl Kite





Strigiformes (owls)Western Barn-Owl


Coraciimorphae


Coliidae (mousebirds)Speckled Mousebird


Cavitaves


Leptosomatiformes (cuckoo roller)Cuckoo Roller


Eucavitaves


Trogoniformes (trogons)Surucua Trogon


Picocoraciae


Bucerotiformes (hornbills and relatives)Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill




CoraciiformesWhite-throated Kingfisher



PiciformesGreat Spotted Woodpecker









Australaves


Cariamiformes (seriemas)Red-legged Seriema


Eufalconimorphae


Falconiformes (falcons)Peregrine Falcon


Psittacopasserae


Psittaciformes (parrots)Cockatiel



Passeriformes (perching birds and kin)House Sparrow













Footnotes

  1. ^ Van Tuinen M. (2009) Birds (Aves). In The Timetree of Life, Hedges SB, Kumar S (eds). Oxford: Oxford University Press; 409–411.
  2. ^ Claramunt, S.; Cracraft, J. (Dec 2015). "A new time tree reveals Earth history's imprint on the evolution of modern birds". Sci Adv. 1 (11). PMC 4730849Freely accessible. PMID 26824065. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1501005. 
  3. ^ Mindell & Brown (2005)
  4. ^ For a draft phylogeny of Neoaves that is based on a review of massive amounts of published sources, and probably rather close to "the real thing", see Mindell et al. (2005)
  5. ^ Mindell et al. (2005)
  6. ^ Prum, R.O. et al. (2015) A comprehensive phylogeny of birds (Aves) using targeted next-generation DNA sequencing. Nature 526, 569–573.
  7. ^ Yuri, T.; et al. (2013). "Parsimony and Model-Based Analyses of Indels in Avian Nuclear Genes Reveal Congruent and Incongruent Phylogenetic Signals". Biology. 2 (1): 419–444. PMC 4009869Freely accessible. PMID 24832669. doi:10.3390/biology2010419. 
  8. ^ Kimball, R.T. et al. (2013) Identifying localized biases in large datasets: A case study using the Avian Tree of Life. Mol Phylogenet Evol. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.05.029

References

External links



Hemipus picatus This article is part of Project Bird Taxonomy, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every order, family and other taxonomic rank related to birds.