Classification of CLASS AVES (the whole thing)

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jan 2 21:20:17 CST 2006

Dear All,
      I got so frustrated with the phylogeny of the recent Orders of birds that I never completed my 2002 reclassification of Class AVES.  However, now that I have accepted the division of Neoaves into the Metaves and Coronaves (which were proposed in 2004, if I recall correctly), I decided it was time to complete it.

     One of the biggest surprises may be that Order Opisthocomiformes (hoatzin) is not related to cuckoos or turacos, but rather to the columbiforms (as was tentatively suggested by Sorensen et al., 2003).  Among other Orders of Metaves (Neornithes clade 3), I am still not convinced that Eurypygiformes and Rhynochetiformes form an exclusive clade, but I did put them next to one another in the larger polytomy of clade 3D (if it truly is a clade).  The affinities of those small oddball Orders has always been problematic (and some may end up in Columbiformes or Caprimulgiformes).

     I have done some minor tinkering with the phylogeny within ARCHAEORNITHES, but nothing really major since 2002.  The contents of my expanded AVES have not changed since 2002 (except for the addition of newly described fossil genera like Mei and Hongshanornis).   And I still believe Segnosauriformes are the sister group to CLASS AVES as constituted below (being only convergently similar to Oviraptoriformes and Caenagnathiformes).  Order Mononykiformes may jump back down near Patagopterygiformes (where I had it for a time), but only more complete fossils will settle its exact position.  Sereno and some other workers wouldn't even place Mononykiformes within this expanded version of AVES, but others would (and I believe the more moderate placement of Mononykiformes here will satisfy the latter).  I still suspect they are more derived than enantiornithines (even farther away from where Sereno would place them).  Meanwhile, I am going to concentrate more on further tinkering with the phylogeny of Neornithes.

          CLASS AVES (sensu Kinman, 2002)

        1  Archaeopterygiformes%
                1  Troodontidae
                2  Velociraptoridae
                B  Dromaeosauridae
                3  Microraptoridae
                ?  Plesion Sinovenator
                ?  Pl. Mei
                4  Scansoriopterygidae
                ?  Pl. Unenlagia
                ?  Pl. Buitreraptor
                5  Pl. Rahonavis
                6  Archaeopterygidae
                ?  Pl. Protarchaeopteryx
                7 {{expanded Avebrevicauda}}
        _1_ Yandangornithiformes
         ?  Pl. Shenzhouraptor
         2  Omnivoropterygiformes
         B  Pl. Sapeornis
         ?  Pl. Caudipteryx
         3  Oviraptoriformes
         4  Caenagnathiformes
         ?  Pl. Nomingia
         ?  Avimimiformes
         5  Mononykiformes
         6  Confuciusornithiformes
         7  Longipterygiformes
         B  Iberomesornithiformes
         C  Enantiornithiformes
         D  Gobipterygiformes
         8  Chaoyangiiformes
         9  Patagopterygiformes
         ?  Pl. Hongshanornis
        10  Yanornithiformes
        11  Ambiortiformes
        12  Hesperornithiformes
        13  Ichthyornithiformes
        14  Pl. Limenavis
        15  Lithornithiformes
        16  {{Neornithes}}

 _a_ NEORNITHES (crown clade, "modern" birds)
         1  Tinamiformes
        _a_ Struthioniformes (ratites)
         2  Galliformes
         B  Anseriformes
         3  Pterocliformes
         B  Columbiformes
         C  Caprimulgiformes
        _a_ Apodiformes
         D  Mesitornithiformes
         4  Turniciformes
         B  Charadriiformes
         C  Gruiformes (sensu stricto)
         5  Ciconiiformes
         B  Pelecaniformes
         C  Procellariformes
         6  Falconiformes
         B  Strigiformes
         7  Cuculiformes
         8  Coliiformes
         B  Psittaciformes
         9  Coraciiformes (sensu stricto)
        10  Alcediniformes
        11  Bucerotiformes
        12  Piciformes
        13  Passeriformes

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