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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)
The avian clade Passerida was first identified based on DNA-DNA hybridization data [C.G. Sibley, J.E. Ahlquist, Phylogeny and Classification of Birds, 1990, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT]. Monophyly of the Passerida, with the exception of a few taxa, has later been corroborated in several studies; however, the basal phylogenetic relationships have(More)
Passerida is a monophyletic group of oscine passerines that includes almost 3500 species (about 36%) of all bird species in the world. The current understanding of higher-level relationships within Passerida is based on DNA-DNA hybridizations [C.G. Sibley, J.E. Ahlquist, Phylogeny and Classification of Birds, 1990, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT]. Our(More)
Based on their highly specialized "tracheophone" syrinx, the avian families Furnariidae (ovenbirds), Dendrocolaptidae (woodcreepers), Formicariidae (ground antbirds), Thamnophilidae (typical antbirds), Rhinocryptidae (tapaculos), and Conopophagidae (gnateaters) have long been recognized to constitute a monophyletic group of suboscine passerines. However,(More)
Most highly accurate predictive modeling techniques produce opaque models. When comprehensible models are required, rule extraction is sometimes used to generate a transparent model, based on the opaque. Naturally, the extracted model should be as similar as possible to the opaque. This criterion, called fidelity, is therefore a key part of the optimization(More)
Speciation generally involves a three-step process--range expansion, range fragmentation and the development of reproductive isolation between spatially separated populations. Speciation relies on cycling through these three steps and each may limit the rate at which new species form. We estimate phylogenetic relationships among all Himalayan songbirds to(More)