Higher phylogeny

In birds, long recognised higher-level clades are treated as orders, recognised by the ending -iformes. However, the exact number of orders is not defined and may vary from author to author. 

Order-level timetree of extant Aves according to Stiller et al. (2024), with available crown-group ages being indicated by thicker green lines (derived from Extended Data Figs. 2, 3). Compared to the original paper, three additional orders (Cathartiformes, Ciconiiformes and Suliformes) have been recognised, and Strisores have been split into its constituent orders. 

Unranked order-level classification of extant Aves according to Sangster et al. (2022), Wu et al. (2024), and Stiller et al. (2024).


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