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|Title:||A Gondwanan origin of passerine birds supported by DNA sequences of the endemic New Zealand wrens|
|Citation:||Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 2002; 269(1488):235-241|
|Publisher:||Royal Soc London|
|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|
|Appears in Collections:||Earth and Environmental Sciences publications|
Environment Institute Leaders publications
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