Dario Zuccon

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Patterns of diversification and timing of evolution within Neoaves, which includes almost 95% of all bird species, are virtually unknown. On the other hand, molecular data consistently indicate a Cretaceous origin of many neoavian lineages and the fossil record seems to support an Early Tertiary diversification. Here, we present the first well-resolved(More)
Birds are a taxonomically well-described group of animals, yet DNA barcoding, i.e., the molecular characterization of species using a standardized genetic marker, has revealed unexpected patterns of genetic divergences among North American birds. We performed a comprehensive COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) barcode survey of 296 species of Scandinavian(More)
Despite increased understanding of higher-level relationships in passerine birds in the last 15 years, the taxonomic boundaries and phylogenetic interrelationships of the major groups of the Tyrannida (including the cotingas, manakins, tityrines, and tyrant flycatchers) remain unclear. Here, we present an analysis of DNA sequence data obtained from two(More)
Passerine birds are very plastic in their adaptations, which has made it difficult to define phylogenetic lineages and correctly allocate all species to these. Sapayoa aenigma, a member of the large group of New World flycatchers, has been difficult to place, and DNA-DNA hybridization experiments have indicated that it may have been misplaced. This is(More)
Open-habitat chats (genera Myrmecocichla, Cercomela, Oenanthe and relative) are a morphologically and ecologically cohesive group of genera with unclear phylogenetic relationships. They are distributed mostly in open, arid and/or rocky habitats of Africa and Eurasia. Here, we present the most comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis of this group to(More)
We investigated the phylogenetic relationships among the major lineages of the avian family Sturnidae and their placement within the Muscicapoidea clade using two nuclear (RAG-1 and myoglobin) and one mitochondrial gene (ND2). Among Muscicapoidea, we recovered three clades corresponding to the families Cinclidae, Muscicapidae and Sturnidae (sensu [Sibley,(More)
Phylogenetic relationships among the true finches (Fringillidae) have been confounded by the recurrence of similar plumage patterns and use of similar feeding niches. Using a dense taxon sampling and a combination of nuclear and mitochondrial sequences we reconstructed a well resolved and strongly supported phylogenetic hypothesis for this family. We(More)
Systematic relationships among the African bush babies are not well understood. Various generic designations are currently in use. Some authors refer all species to a single genus (Galago), while others recognize ≤4 genera. Phylogenetic reconstructions based on morphology, karyology, allozymes and vocal repertoires have generated inconsistent hypotheses of(More)
Defensins are a recently described family of peptides that play an important role in innate immunity. Recent studies have shown that defensins exhibit a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activities against bacteria and fungi. Three families have been identified so far in mammals, α-defensins, β-defensins and θ-defensins, presumably derived from a common(More)
The affinities of Piopio Turnagra capensis, an extinct New Zealand passerine, remain poorly known. It has been included into or associated with several bird families (Calleatidae, Cracticidae, Pachycephalidae, Ptilonorhynchidae, Turdidae), often on tenuous grounds. We reassessed Turnagra phylogenetic relationships using nuclear and mitochondrial sequences(More)