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Type: Journal article
Title: Oligocene divergence of frogmouth birds (Podargidae) across Wallace's Line
Author: Oliver, P.M.
Heiniger, H.
Hugall, A.F.
Joseph, L.
Mitchell, K.J.
Citation: Biology Letters, 2020; 16(5):1-5
Publisher: Royal Society
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1744-9561
Statement of
Paul M. Oliver, Holly Heiniger, Andrew F. Hugall, Leo Joseph and Kieren J. Mitchell
Abstract: Wallace's Line demarcates the transition between the differentiated regional faunas of Asia and Australia. However, while patterns of biotic differentiation across these two continental landmasses and the intervening island groups (Wallacea) have been extensively studied, patterns of long-term dispersal and diversification across this region are less well understood. Frogmouths (Aves: Podargidae) are a relictual family of large nocturnal birds represented by three extant genera occurring, respectively, in Asia, 'Sahul' (Australia and New Guinea) and the Solomon Islands, thus spanning Wallace's Line. We used new mitochondrial genomes from each of the extant frogmouth genera to estimate the timeline of frogmouth evolution and dispersal across Wallace's Line. Our results suggest that the three genera diverged and dispersed during the mid-Cenozoic between approximately 30 and 40 Mya. These divergences are among the oldest inferred for any trans-Wallacean vertebrate lineage. In addition, our results reveal that the monotypic Solomons frogmouth (Rigidipenna inexpectata) is one of the most phylogenetically divergent endemic bird lineages in the southwest Pacific. We suggest that the contemporary distribution of exceptionally deep divergences among extant frogmouth lineages may be explained by colonization of, and subsequent long-term persistence on, island arcs in the southwest Pacific during the Oligocene. These island arcs may have provided a pathway for biotic dispersal out of both Asia and Australia that preceded the formation of extensive emergent landmasses in Wallacea by at least 10 million years.
Keywords: Sahul
Solomon Islands
Sunda Shelf
island arc
relict lineages
Rights: © 2020 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2020.0040
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Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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