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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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, alpha-defensins, beta-defensins and theta-defensins, presumably derived from a(More)
We investigated the phylogenetic relationships within the Monticola rock-thrushes, an open-habitat genus inhabiting a large part of the Old World. Our results support one Oriental clade and one clade including African, Malagasy and Eurasian taxa. The biogeographic reconstruction obtained with the dispersal-vicariance analysis suggested Southern Africa plus(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)
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 developed MrEnt, a Windows-based, user-friendly software that allows the production of complex, high-resolution, publication-quality phylogenetic trees in few steps, directly from the analysis output. The program recognizes the standard Nexus tree format and the annotated tree files produced by BEAST and MrBayes. MrEnt combines in a single software a(More)
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