Tip-dating and the origin of Telluraves

Nicholas M.A. Crouch, Karolis Ramanauskas, Boris Igic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite a relatively vast accumulation of molecular data, the timing of diversification of modern bird lineages remains elusive. Accurate dating of the origination of Telluraves—a clade of birds defined by their arboreality—is of particular interest, as it contains the most species-rich avian group, the passerines. Historically, neontological studies have estimated a Cretaceous origin for the group, but more recent studies have recovered Cenozoic dates, closer to the oldest known fossils for the group. We employ total-evidence dating to estimate divergence times that are expected to be both less sensitive to prior assumptions and more accurate. Specifically, we use a large collection of morphological character data from arboreal bird fossils, along with combined molecular sequence and morphological character data from extant taxa. Our analyses recover a Late Cretaceous origin for crown Telluraves, with a few lineages crossing the K-Pg boundary. Following the K-Pg boundary, our results show the group underwent rapid diversification, likely benefiting from increased ecological opportunities in the aftermath of the extinction event. We find very little confidence for the precise topological placement of many extinct taxa, possibly due to rapid diversification, paucity of character data, and rapid morphological differentiation during the early history of the group.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages55-63
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volume131
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Fingerprint

Birds
fossils
fossil
phylogenetics
birds
phylogeny
bird
Cretaceous
Crowns
tree crown
passerine
extinction
History
history
divergence
dating
extinct species

Keywords

  • Divergence times
  • Fossils
  • Phylogenetics
  • Telluraves
  • Tip dating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Tip-dating and the origin of Telluraves. / Crouch, Nicholas M.A.; Ramanauskas, Karolis; Igic, Boris.

In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Vol. 131, 01.02.2019, p. 55-63.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Crouch, Nicholas M.A. ; Ramanauskas, Karolis ; Igic, Boris. / Tip-dating and the origin of Telluraves. In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 2019 ; Vol. 131. pp. 55-63.
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