May 10, 2021

Note: "Avian orders": This chapter is currently under revision, because members of the Avian phylogeny post on birdforum.net made valuable suggestions that will be incorporated. 


May 6, 2021

Galliformes, Phasianidae, Pavoninae, Gallini: Crowe et al. (2020) resolved the nomenclatural uncertainties surrounding both Latham’s Francolin and the red-tailed francolins by restricting the genus Peliperdix to lathami, and by designating the new genus Campocolinus for the red-tailed francolins. The Phasianidae timetree was adjusted accordingly. [thanks to Jim from France for bringing this paper to my attention]


May 4, 2021

Psittaciformes, Psittacidae: Based on mitogenomes, Kolchanova et al. (2021) studied the phylogenetic relationships of the five extant species of Amazona parrots occurring in the Greater Antilles. The authors found that these species form a clade that colonized the Greater Antilles from mainland Central America by stepping-stone dispersal and speciation, starting some 3.5 mya. The results didn‘t affect our parrot timetree. 


April 4, 2021

Accipitridae & Caprimulgidae: Sangster & Luksenburg (2021) recognised that the puported mitogenomes of both the Japanese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter gularis) and the Grey or Jungle Nightjar (Caprimulgus indicus), formerly treated as C. jotaka, are artefacts, because re-analysis by the authors showed the published mitogenomes to be chimeras, i.e. mixtures of more than one species. However, our timetrees are not affected. 


March 19, 2021

Galliformes: An overview of the phylogeny of Galliformes is provided by Kimball et al. (2021). The authors built a supermatrix of all publicly available DNA-sequence data. The study covered 264 galliform species representing 88% of the total species number. With only one exception, I follow their results. 


March 15, 2021

Gruiformes: The phylogeny of Rallidae has been adjusted according to the results of Garcia-R. & Matzke (2021). However, since the results are based on total evidence, i.e. combined morphological and DNA data, several proposed relationships must be considered preliminary. In the timetree provided here, relationships that are based on morphology alone are indicated by broken lines. 


March 13, 2021

Aequornithes: Following the proposition of Sangster & Mayr (2021), I added the clade name 'Feraequornithes' for a group comprising Procellariiformes, Sphenisciformes, Ciconiiformes, Suliformes, and Pelecaniformes. In other words, the new clade comprises the same orders as Aequornithes, but without Gaviiformes. 


January 25, 2021

Individual orders: I updated this section in order to include the latest changes of Kuhl et al. (2021).


December 09, 2020

Aequornithes, Pelecaniformes: I expanded the Pelecaniformes at the expense of the former Ardeiformes and Plataleiformes, which have been eliminated. 


November 24, 2020

Note: „Neglected clades“:  I added this chapter hoping to direct future research efforts towards some selected clades that have largely been neglected in phylogenetic studies.


November 21, 2020

Strisores: Following Chen & Field (2020), I added the newly coined clade names Letornithes and Sedentaves to the taxonomy of Strisores. However, I will not follow their suggestions for panclade names. (Please refer to Note: „Pan-clades“ for further information).


November 15, 2020

Note: „Avian orders“:  I added this chapter hoping to launch a discussion on the question: What is an avian order?


November 3, 2020

Palaeognathae: I adopt the phylogeny of Kuhl et al. (2021). However, the reconstruction of the phylogeny of Palaeognathae remains problematic. I guess this is largely due to the fact that, apart from their neognathous sister-clade, relevant outgroups diverged a long time ago, e.g. turtles some 170mya and crocodiles some 150mya. 


October 24, 2020

Higher phylogeny: I adopt the phylogeny of Kuhl et al. (2021) because of both the broad taxonomic coverage (all 106 non-passerine and 115 passerine families) and the conclusive results. The authors found that 3’UTR sequences yielded a well-resolved and stable tree-topology. Their results confirm most previous assumptions.