Morphological clocks in paleontology, and a mid-Cretaceous origin of crown Aves.

  title={Morphological clocks in paleontology, and a mid-Cretaceous origin of crown Aves.},
  author={Michael S. Y. Lee and Andrea Cau and Darren Naish and Gareth J. Dyke},
  journal={Systematic biology},
  volume={63 3},
Birds are among the most diverse and intensivelystudied vertebrate groups, but many aspects of theirhigher-level phylogeny and evolution still remaincontroversial. One contentious issue concerns theantiquity of modern birds (=crown Aves): the ageof the most recent common ancestor of all livingbirds (Gauthier 1986). Very few Mesozoic fossilsare attributable to modern birds (e.g., Clarke et al.2005; Dyke and Kaiser 2011; Brocklehurst et al. 2012;Ksepka and Boyd 2012) suggesting that they diversi… 

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