Interpreting the fossil record and the origination of birds

  title={Interpreting the fossil record and the origination of birds},
  author={Nicholas M. A. Crouch},
The fossil record is essential for understanding when lineages originate and their pace of diversification. However, numerous taphonomic biases in the fossil record can hinder interpretation, creating discord between palaeontological and phylogenetic estimates of clade origination dates. Here, I use the recently published Bayesian Brownian Bridge method to infer the age of birds using occurrence data from the Paleobiology Database. I also estimate the age of the speciose sub-clade Telluraves to… 



Tip-dating and the origin of Telluraves.

The Completeness of the Fossil Record of Mesozoic Birds: Implications for Early Avian Evolution

The quality of the fossil record of Mesozoic avian species is assessed using a recently proposed character completeness metric which calculates the percentage of phylogenetic characters that can be scored for each taxon, suggesting the abundance and diversity of birds might influence the probability of high quality specimens being preserved.

A Total-Evidence Approach to Dating with Fossils, Applied to the Early Radiation of the Hymenoptera

The results suggest that the crown group dates back to the Carboniferous, ∼309 Ma (95% interval: 291--347 Ma), and diversified into major extant lineages much earlier than previously thought, well before the Triassic.

Fossil data support a pre-Cretaceous origin of flowering plants.

A Bayesian method is developed to estimate the ages of angiosperm families on the basis of the fossil record (a newly compiled dataset of ~15,000 occurrences in 198 families) and their living diversity and indicates that several families originated in the Jurassic, strongly rejecting a Cretaceous origin for the group.

Dating the diversification of the major lineages of Passeriformes (Aves)

This study provides a time-scale for the evolution of the major clades of passerines using seven nuclear markers, five taxonomically well-determined passerine fossils, and an updated interpretation of the New Zealand split from Antarctica 85–52 Mya in a Bayesian relaxed-clock approach.

Geologic constraints on the macroevolutionary history of marine animals.

  • S. Peters
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2005
This work compares the rates of expansion and truncation of preserved marine sedimentary basins to rates of origination and extinction among Phanerozoic marine animal genera and suggests that the processes responsible for producing variability in the sedimentary rock record, such as plate tectonics and sea-level change, may have been dominant and consistent macroevolutionary forces throughout the Phanrozoic.

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

Dinosaur diversity and the rock record

Strong statistically robust correlations demonstrate that almost all aspects of ornithischian and theropod diversity curves can be explained by geological megabiases, whereas the sauropodomorph record diverges from modelled predictions and may be a stronger contender for identifying evolutionary signals.

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.

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.