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SURVEY OF BIRDS OF THE WORLD. Subclass Ornithurae Infraclass Odontornithes = toothed birds (extinct) Infraclass Neornithes Superorder Paleognathae (Ratites and Tinamous) Superorder Neognathae. Avian Phylogeny based on Feduccia (1995). Superorder Paleognathae.

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Survey of birds of the world

  • Subclass Ornithurae

    • Infraclass Odontornithes = toothed birds (extinct)

    • Infraclass Neornithes

      • Superorder Paleognathae (Ratites and Tinamous)

      • Superorder Neognathae

Superorder paleognathae
Superorder Paleognathae

  • Order Struthioniformes = Ostrich, 1 spp., Africa

    • flightless walking birds

    • long heavy legs with 2 toes

    • over 2.2 m tall

  • Order Rheiformes = Rheas, 2 spp., South America

    • flightless walking birds

    • long heavy legs with 3 toes

    • 1.5 m tall

Survey of birds of the world

Ostrich - 1 spp., Africa

Rheas - 2 spp., S. America

Superorder paleognathae1
Superorder Paleognathae

  • Order Casuariiformes - Cassowaries and Emus; flightless walking birds, stout legs with 3 toes, up to 1.5 m tall, feathers with long aftershaft

    • Cassowaries - 3 spp., Australia and New Guinea

    • Emus - 2 spp., Australia

Survey of birds of the world

Emu - 2 spp., Australia

Cassowary - 3 species

Australia and New Guinea

Superorder paleognathae2
Superorder Paleognathae

  • Order Dinornithiformes - Kiwis, 3 spp., New Zealand

    • flightless, chicken-sized

    • long bill with nostrils at tip

    • hair-like feathers

  • Order Tinamiformes - Tinamous, 47 spp., Central and South America

    • flying, ground birds

    • plump body, slender neck with small heads

Survey of birds of the world

Brown Kiwi - New Zealand

3 species all, N.Z.

Chilean Tinamou - S.Am.

Tinamous - 47 spp., C. and

S. America

Superorder neognathae
Superorder Neognathae

  • Order Podicipediformes - Grebes, 21 spp., world-wide

    • lobate toes, divers

  • Order Sphenisciformes - Penguins, 17 spp., S. hemisphere

    • web-footed marine swimmers

    • wings modified to form paddles

    • scale-like feathers

    • range as far north as Galapagos Islands (equator)

Survey of birds of the world

Magellanic Penguins

southern S. America

Superorder neognathae1
Superorder Neognathae

  • Order Procellariiformes - Pelagic Tubenoses, 115 spp., world-wide

    • tubular nostrils, hooked beak, long narrow wings

  • Order Pelecaniformes - Pelicans and allies, 67 spp., world-wide: mostly tropical and subtropical except cormorants

    • totipalmate feet, long fish-eating beaks

  • Order Anseriformes - Waterfowl, 161 spp., world-wide

    • broad bills, short legs with webbed feet, swimmers

Survey of birds of the world

Northern Fulmar

Black-footed Albatross

Procellariiformes - 115 species, Worldwide distribution

Superorder neognathae2
Superorder Neognathae

  • Order Phoenicopteriformes - Flamingos, 5 spp., Tropics except Australia

    • long-legged, long-necked wading birds with webbed feet and specialized filter-feeding bill, pink coloration

  • Order Ciconiiformes - Herons, Storks, Ibises. 120 spp., world-wide

    • long-necked, long-legged waders

  • Order Falconiformes - Hawks and allies, 311 spp., world-wide

    • diurnal birds of prey, strong hooked bill, talons

Survey of birds of the world

Chilean Flamingo

- Southern S. America

  • Puna Flamingo

  • High Andes of Peru,

  • Chile and Argentina

Superorder neognathae3
Superorder Neognathae

  • Order Galliformes - Chicken-like birds, 258 spp., world-wide

    • short rounded wings, heavy bodies, heavy feet for scratching, strong runners

  • Order Gruiformes - Cranes, Rails and allies, 213 spp., world-wide

    • Wide variation: some long-legged and long-necked, others smaller with shorter legs and necks, waders

  • Order Charadriiformes - Shorebirds, Gulls and Terns, 366 spp., world-wide

    • strong fliers, many long-distance migrants, toes usually webbed

Superorder neognathae4
Superorder Neognathae

  • Order Gaviiformes - Loons, 5 spp., Northern N. hemisphere

    • webbed feet, divers, long bodies, sharp bills

  • Order Columbiformes - Pigeons and Doves, 313 spp., world-wide

    • short legs, short neck, plump bodies

  • Order Psittaciformes - Parrots, 358 spp., tropical and subtropical

    • narrow hooked beak, zygodactyl feet, large rounded head

Superorder neognathae5
Superorder Neognathae

  • Order Coliiformes - Mousebirds, 6 spp., Africa

    • small, crested, gray or brown birds with long tails, first and fourth toes are reversible, mainly frugivorous and travel in flocks

  • Order Musophagiformes - Turacos, 23 spp., Africa

    • medium-sized arboreal birds, superficially resemble slim chicken with a long tail, mostly vegetarian diet

  • Order Cuculiformes - Cuckoos and allies, 143 spp., world-wide

    • zygodactyl feet with reversible outer toe, many are brood parasites

Survey of birds of the world

Mousebird - Africa, 6 spp.

Turaco - Africa, 23 spp.

Superorder neognathae6
Superorder Neognathae

  • OrderStrigiformes - Owls, 178 spp., world-wide

    • nocturnal birds of prey, large eyes, powerful hooked beak and talons

  • Order Caprimulgiformes - Nightjars and allies, 113 spp., world-wide

    • cryptic plumage, wide mouths with insect-netting bristles, small legs and feet, crepuscular or nocturnal

  • Order Apodiformes - Hummingbirds and Swifts, 422 spp., world-wide: Hummers in C. & S. Am.

    • small birds with short legs and small feet, pointed wings; swifts with short, weak bills; Hummers with long, slender bills


  • Lab Exam 1 – next Wednesday Feb. 10

    • Topography through Waterfowl (Labs 1-3)

    • A couple questions from the videos

  • Lecture Exam 1 – moved from Wed. Feb 17 to Monday Feb. 22

    • Will cover material through Circulation and Respiration

Superorder neognathae7
Superorder Neognathae

  • Order Trogoniformes - Trogons, 39 spp., Tropical regions (greatest diversity in Neotropics)

    • short stout bill, small weak zygodactyl feet, long tails, richly colored irridescent plumage

  • Order Coraciiformes - Kingfishers, Motmots, Bee-eaters, Hornbills, 218 spp.,world-wide

    • strong prominent bills, colorful plumage, cavity-nesters, toes 3 & 4 joined at base

  • Order Piciformes - Woodpeckers, Toucans and allies, 410 spp., world-wide

    • zygodactyl feet, highly specialized bills, cavity-nesters

Survey of birds of the world

Resplendent Quetzal

Elegant Trogon

Trogoniformes - Trogons, 39 spp., Tropical regions

Survey of birds of the world


(Old World)


(West Indies)


(Europe, Africa)




(New World Tropics)

Coraciiformes - 218 species, worldwide distribution

Survey of birds of the world




(New World Tropics)


(New World Tropics)


(New World Tropics)

Perching Piciformes

Other classification schemes place
Other Classification Schemes place:

  • Some classification schemes place Sandgrouse in their own Order Pteroclidiformes or with the Orders Columbiformes or Charadriiformes.

    • There are 16 spp. in Asia and Africa, inhabit plains and deserts. Superficially they appear pigeon-like.

  • The traditional classification schemes have placed flamingos in the Ciconiiformes along with the herons, storks, and ibises.

  • Some classification schemes split hummingbirds and swifts into separate Orders, Trochiliformes and Apodiformes, respectively.

Survey of birds of the world

Sandgrouse - 16 spp., Asia and Africa plains and deserts

Superorder neognathae8
Superorder Neognathae

  • Order Passeriformes - Songbirds (Perching birds), about 5700 spp. (> 50% of all birds), world-wide

  • Divided into primitive Suboscine Suborder (Tyranni) and advanced Oscine Suborder (Passeres) - Oscines with better vocalizations because of highly developed syrinx

  • Feet adapted for perching (3 in front, 1 in back)

  • Wing with 9 or 10 primaries

  • Unique palate and sperm structure

  • Very altricial hatchlings

Songbird classification
Songbird Classification

  • Two main divisions:

    • Primitive Suboscines

    • Advanced Oscines

  • Primitive Suboscine songbird group dominant in South America

  • Advanced Oscine songbird group outcompetes Suboscines and are dominant everywhere else

Research project
Research Project

  • Why are Suboscines dominant in South America?

    • South America isolated from other continents

Suggested dispersal routes of main

passerine groups from Gondwana

Ericson et al. 2003. J. Avian Biol. 34:3-15

Research project1
Research Project

  • Why do Oscines outcompete Suboscines?

    • One hypothesis = Metabolic Capacity Hypothesis = Suboscines have “restrictive tropical physiology” (Feduccia 1999)

  • Tested hypothesis by measuring max MR in cold

    • Prediction: If hypothesis valid, Oscines should have higher MR than Suboscines

  • Why Chile? – High proportion of Suboscines and temperate climate

Survey of birds of the world

Oscines with significantly higher MR

- Supports metabolic rate hypothesis

Oscine Slope = 0.67, R2=0.762

Suboscine Slope = 0.84, R2=0.729