The whalebill is a stork

  title={The whalebill is a stork},
  author={Alan Feduccia},
THE avian order Ciconiiformes contains a heterogeneous assemblage of long legged, long necked birds which have traditionally been classified together because of superficial resemblance. The order usually contains the storks, ibises, herons and two rather aberrant birds, the whalebill (Balaeniceps rex) and the hammerkop (Scopus umbretta), which are placed in monotypic families, the Balaencipitidae and Scopidae, respectively. The evolutionary relationships among the members of the Ciconiiformes… 

The phylogenetic affinities of the Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)

  • G. Mayr
  • Biology
    Journal für Ornithologie
  • 2006
A cladistic analysis of 54 anatomical characters resulted in monophyly of the shoebill and showed both Ciconiiformes and Pelecaniformes to be polyphyletic and the Phaethontidae share derived characters with the Procellariiformes, which might support a sister group relationship between the two taxa.

A phylogenetic analysis of basal Anseriformes, the fossil Presbyornis, and the interordinal relationships of waterfowl

The phylogenetic hypothesis is used to reconstruct an evolutionary scenario for selected ecomorphological characters in the galliform-anseriform transition, to predict the most parsimonious states of these characters for Presbyornis, and to propose a phylogenetic classification of the higher-order taxa of waterfowl.

First record of the association of Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis with Shoebill Balaeniceps rex

The first-known records of foraging interactions between Shoebill Balaeniceps rex and Cattle Egrets are described at the Malagarasi-Muyovozi Ramsar Site in western Tanzania.

Higher-order phylogeny of modern birds (Theropoda, Aves: Neornithes) based on comparative anatomy. II. Analysis and discussion

A phylogenetic (cladistic) analysis of 150 taxa of Neornithes, including exemplars from all non-passeriform families, and subordinal representatives of Passeriformes, confirmed the topology among outgroup Theropoda and achieved robust resolution at virtually all levels of the NeornIthes.


This work serves as a compendium of anatomical resources upon which a companion phylogenetic analysis of Aves and related Theropoda (Avialae) was based and summarized, to the extent feasible, previously published characters for which inclusion in the present work was judged to be unreliable or lacking sufficient clarity.

A novel primary bile acid in the Shoebill stork and herons and its phylogenetic significance.

The Shoebill stork was found to contain as its dominant biliary bile acids 16alpha-hydroxychenodeoxycholic acid, a heretofore undescribed bile acid, which suggests that these birds are closely related.

Kleptoparasitism of Shoebills Balaeniceps rex by African Fish Eagles Haliaeetus vocifer in Western Tanzania

Kleptoparasitism is a specialised form of foraging interference occurring throughout the animal kingdom and especially is well documented among birds including African fish eagle  Haliaeetus vocifer

Tertiary plotopterids (Aves, Plotopteridae) and a novel hypothesis on the phylogenetic relationships of penguins (Spheniscidae)

It is shown that assignment of plotopterids to pelecaniform birds does not necessarily preclude them from being the sister taxon of penguins, and derived characters are discussed which support this novel hypothesis.


A Model for the Evolution of Perching Birds

The Eocene of North America was a period during which structurally primitive piciform birds were the predominant, if not the only, perching birds, and new evidence indicates that.