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Deep avian evolutionary relationships have been difficult to resolve as a result of a putative explosive radiation. Our study examined approximately 32 kilobases of aligned nuclear DNA sequences from 19 independent loci for 169 species, representing all major extant groups, and recovered a robust phylogeny from a genome-wide signal supported by multiple(More)
We improve the taxon sampling for avian phylogeny by analyzing 7 new mitochondrial genomes (a toucan, woodpecker, osprey, forest falcon, American kestrel, heron, and a pelican). This improves inference of the avian tree, and it supports 3 major conclusions. The first is that some birds (including a parrot, a toucan, and an osprey) exhibit a complete(More)
Traits involved in sexual signaling are ubiquitous among animals. Although a single trait appears sufficient to convey information, many sexually dimorphic species exhibit multiple sexual signals, which may be costly to signalers and receivers. Given that one signal may be enough, there are many microevolutionary hypotheses to explain the evolution of(More)
BACKGROUND Microinversions are cytologically undetectable inversions of DNA sequences that accumulate slowly in genomes. Like many other rare genomic changes (RGCs), microinversions are thought to be virtually homoplasy-free evolutionary characters, suggesting that they may be very useful for difficult phylogenetic problems such as the avian tree of life.(More)
Large-scale multi-locus studies have become common in molecular phylogenetics, with new studies continually adding to previous datasets in an effort to fully resolve the tree of life. Total evidence analyses that combine existing data with newly collected data are expected to increase the power of phylogenetic analyses to resolve difficult relationships.(More)
Afropavo congensis, the Congo peafowl, has long fascinated ornithologists because of its uncertain phylogenetic position and unusual geographic distribution. While some researchers have placed Afropavo as a sister taxon to the true peafowl, Pavo species, others have suggested relationships with the guineafowl or an Old World partridge, Francolinus. These(More)
Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a protein that regulates cell growth in response to altered nutrient and growth factor availability. Our objective was to assess activated mTOR and its intracellular intermediates p70, and 4EBP1 in placental and invasive trophoblast cells in a hypoxia-induced model of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) in rats.(More)
Ratites (ostriches, emus, rheas, cassowaries, and kiwis) are large, flightless birds that have long fascinated biologists. Their current distribution on isolated southern land masses is believed to reflect the breakup of the paleocontinent of Gondwana. The prevailing view is that ratites are monophyletic, with the flighted tinamous as their sister group,(More)
Galliform birds (relatives of the chicken and turkey) have attracted substantial attention due to their importance to society and value as model systems. This makes understanding the evolutionary history of Galliformes, especially the species-rich family Phasianidae, particularly interesting and important for comparative studies in this group. Previous(More)
Neoaves is the most diverse major avian clade, containing ~95% of avian species, and it underwent an ancient but rapid diversification that has made resolution of relationships at the base of the clade difficult. In fact, Neoaves has been suggested to be a "hard" polytomy that cannot be resolved with any amount of data. However, this conclusion was based on(More)