Definitive fossil evidence for the extant avian radiation in the Cretaceous

  title={Definitive fossil evidence for the extant avian radiation in the Cretaceous},
  author={Julia A. Clarke and Claudia Patricia Tambussi and Jorge Ignacio Noriega and Gregory M. Erickson and Richard A. Ketcham},
Long-standing controversy surrounds the question of whether living bird lineages emerged after non-avian dinosaur extinction at the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary or whether these lineages coexisted with other dinosaurs and passed through this mass extinction event. Inferences from biogeography and molecular sequence data (but see ref. 10) project major avian lineages deep into the Cretaceous period, implying their ‘mass survival’ at the K/T boundary. By contrast, it has been argued that… 

Timing the extant avian radiation: The rise of modern birds, and the importance of modeling molecular rate variation

How relationships between life-history and substitution rates can mislead divergence time studies that do not account for directional changes in substitution rates over time is discussed, and it is suggested that these effects might have caused some of the variation in existing molecular date estimates for birds.

Primate Origins: Implications of a Cretaceous Ancestry

A statistical analysis of the primate record allowing for major gaps now indicates a Cretaceous origin of euprimates 80–90 Ma ago, and the known early Tertiary primates are re-interpreted as northern continental offshoots of a ‘second wave’ of primate evolution.

Strong mitochondrial DNA support for a Cretaceous origin of modern avian lineages

This work fails to reconcile molecular genetic divergence time estimates with dates taken from the fossil record, but finds strong support for an ancient origin of modern bird lineages, with many extant orders and families arising in the mid-Cretaceous, consistent with previous molecular estimates.

Early Paleocene landbird supports rapid phylogenetic and morphological diversification of crown birds after the K–Pg mass extinction

The discovery of Tsidiiyazhi pushes the minimum divergence ages of as many as nine additional major neoavian lineages into the earliest Paleocene, compressing the duration of the proposed explosive post–K–Pg radiation of modern birds into a very narrow temporal window parallel to that suggested for placental mammals.

Late Cretaceous neornithine from Europe illuminates the origins of crown birds

A newly discovered fossil from the Cretaceous of Belgium is the oldest modern bird ever found, showing a unique combination of features and suggesting attributes shared by avian survivors of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

New Zealand Passerines Help Clarify the Diversification of Major Songbird Lineages during the Oligocene

Dating analyses of this robust phylogeny suggest Passeriformes originated in the early Paleocene, with the major lineages of oscines “escaping” from Australasia about 30 Ma, and radiating throughout the world during the Oligocene.

Phylogenetically vetted and stratigraphically constrained fossil calibrations within Aves

Seven phylogenetically vetted fossil calibrations for major divergences within crown Aves representing the splits between Anatoidea, Sphenisciformes, Coracioidea and Upupiformes are provided to provide a starting point for workers interested in estimating confidence intervals or outlining prior age distribution curves.

A mitogenomic timescale for birds detects variable phylogenetic rates of molecular evolution and refutes the standard molecular clock.

The first comprehensive analysis of mitogenomic data of 48 vertebrates, including 35 birds, is performed to derive a Bayesian timescale for avian evolution and to estimate rates of DNA evolution, finding no support for the hypothesis that the molecular clock in birds "ticks" according to a constant rate of substitution per unit of mass-specific metabolic energy rather than per unitOf time, as recently suggested.

Early penguin fossils, plus mitochondrial genomes, calibrate avian evolution.

A test for events around the Late Cretaceous is reported by describing the earliest penguin fossils, analyzing complete mitochondrial genomes from an albatross, a petrel, and a loon, and describing the gradual decline of pterosaurs at the same time modern birds radiate.



The evolutionary radiation of modern birds (Neornithes): reconciling molecules, morphology and the fossil record

Current understanding of the early fossil history of Neornithes is highlighted in conjunction with available phylogenetic resolution for the major extant clades, as well as recent advancements in genetic methods that have constrained time estimates for major evolutionary divergences.

Avian evolution, Gondwana biogeography and the Cretaceous–Tertiary mass extinction event

  • J. Cracraft
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2001
The temporal history of the neornithines can be inferred from fossil taxa and the ages of vicariance events, and along with their biogeographical patterns, leads to the conclusion that neORNithines arose in Gondwanaprior to the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event.

Continental breakup and the ordinal diversification of birds and mammals

THE classical hypothesis for the diversification of birds and mammals proposes that most of the orders diverged rapidly in adaptive radiations after the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) extinction event 65

Mass Survival of Birds Across the Cretaceous- Tertiary Boundary: Molecular Evidence

Data for several other terrestrial vertebrate groups indicate a similar pattern of survival and, taken together, favor incremental changes during a Cretaceous diversification of birds and mammals rather than an explosive radiation in the Early Tertiary.

A Gondwanan origin of passerine birds supported by DNA sequences of the endemic New Zealand wrens

It is demonstrated that the endemic New Zealand wrens (Acanthisittidae) are the sister taxon to all other extant passerines, supporting a Gondwanan origin and early radiation of passerines.

Explosive Evolution in Tertiary Birds and Mammals

The traditional view of avian evolution over the past century is that of sluggish gradualism, in which many living orders of birds are thought to have originated from the mid-Cretaceous or so (1),

The deep divergences of neornithine birds: a phylogenetic analysis of morphological characters

A broad array of morphological characters (including both cranial and postcranial characters) are analyzed for an ingroup densely sampling Neornithes, with crown clade outgroups used to polarize these characters.

Evolutionary explosions and the phylogenetic fuse.