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The single-copy RAG-1 gene is found throughout higher vertebrates and consists of a single 3.1-kb exon without intervening introns. A 2.9-kb region of the RAG-1 locus was sequenced for 14 basal taxa of birds plus the crocodylian outgroups Alligator and Gavialis. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequences supported the hypothesis that the deepest evolutionary(More)
Passerine birds comprise over half of avian diversity, but have proved difficult to classify. Despite a long history of work on this group, no comprehensive hypothesis of passerine family-level relationships was available until recent analyses of DNA-DNA hybridization data. Unfortunately, given the value of such a hypothesis in comparative studies of(More)
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been the workhorse of research in phylogeography for almost two decades. However, concerns with basing evolutionary interpretations on mtDNA results alone have been voiced since the inception of such studies. Recently, some authors have suggested that the potential problems with mtDNA are so great that inferences about(More)
Mitochondrial DNA control region sequences of spotted owls (Strix occidentalis) allowed us to investigate gene flow, genetic structure, and biogeographic relationships among these forest-dwelling birds of western North America Estimates of gene flow based on genetic partitioning and the phylogeography of haplotypes indicate substantial dispersal within(More)
The Charadriiformes is a large and diverse order of shorebirds currently classified into 19 families, including morphologically aberrant forms that are of uncertain phylogenetic placement within non-passerine birds in general. Recent attempts using morphological characters have failed to recover a well-supported phylogeny depicting higher level(More)
Variance of lifetime reproductive success is not a well-defined parameter; it is a function of the way a life cycle is defined. Therefore, comparisons of such variance across studies and taxa will only be valid if the life cycles employed are complete (i.e., an entire generation), precisely defined (e.g., egg to egg or adult to adult), and identical. Given(More)
We sequenced 2800+ bp of the RAG-1 exon for representatives of all the currently recognized genera in the avian family Falconidae. A phylogenetic analysis of these data was compared to prior analyses of mitochondrial (cytochrome-b) and morphological (syringeal) data. The nuclear RAG-1 sequences produced results that were in agreement with the morphological(More)
The northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) is a threatened subspecies and the California spotted owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) is a subspecies of special concern in the western United States. Concern for their continued viability has arisen because of habitat loss caused by timber harvesting. The taxonomic status of the northern(More)
Estimates of global species diversity have varied widely, primarily based on variation in the numbers derived from different inventory methods of arthropods and other small invertebrates. Within vertebrates, current diversity metrics for fishes, amphibians, and reptiles are known to be poor estimators, whereas those for birds and mammals are often assumed(More)