Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/38040
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Type: Journal article
Title: A Gondwanan origin of passerine birds supported by DNA sequences of the endemic New Zealand wrens
Author: Ericson, P.
Christidis, L.
Cooper, A.
Irestedt, M.
Jackson, J.
Johansson, U.
Norman, J.
Citation: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 2002; 269(1488):235-241
Publisher: Royal Soc London
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0962-8452
1471-2970
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Per G. P. Ericson, Les Christidis, Alan Cooper, Martin Irestedt, Jennifer Jackson, Ulf S. Johansson and Janette A. Norman
Abstract: Zoogeographic, palaeontological and biochemical data support a Southern Hemisphere origin for passerine birds, while accumulating molecular data suggest that most extant avian orders originated in the mid-Late Cretaceous. We obtained DNA sequence data from the nuclear c-myc and RAG-1 genes of the major passerine groups and here we demonstrate that the endemic New Zealand wrens (Acanthisittidae) are the sister taxon to all other extant passerines, supporting a Gondwanan origin and early radiation of passerines. We propose that (i) the acanthisittids were isolated when New Zealand separated from Gondwana (ca. 82-85 Myr ago), (ii) suboscines, in turn, were derived from an ancestral lineage that inhabited western Gondwana, and (iii) the ancestors of the oscines (songbirds) were subsequently isolated by the separation of Australia from Antarctica. The later spread of passerines into the Northern Hemisphere reflects the northward migration of these former Gondwanan elements.
Keywords: Animals; Songbirds; DNA; Polymerase Chain Reaction; Evolution, Molecular; Phylogeny; New Zealand
RMID: 0020071362
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2001.1877
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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