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FIGURE 1. Phylogenetic tree showing the position of Vegavis iaai, illustrating the divergence calibrated by MLP 93-I-3-1.

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FIGURE 2. Stratigraphic distribution of fossil anatoids in the Paleogene. The minimum possible age of the calibrating specimen of Vegavis iaai is presented, and midpoints of age ranges are shown for the ages of other Paleogene anatoid specimens.

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FIGURE 3. Phylogenetic tree showing position of Waimanu manneringi, illustrating the divergence calibrated by CM zfa35.

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FIGURE 4. Stratigraphic distribution of fossil Sphenisciformes in the Paleogene. The minimum possible age of the calibrating specimen of Waimanu manneringi is presented, and midpoints of age ranges are shown for the ages of other Paleogene penguin specimens.

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FIGURE 5. Phylogenetic tree showing position of Primobucco mcgrewi, illustrating the divergence calibrated by USNM 336484.

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FIGURE 6. Stratigraphic distribution of fossil Coracii in the Paleogene. The minimum possible age of the calibrating specimen of Primobucco mcgrewi is presented, and midpoints of age ranges are shown for the ages of other Paleogene roller in specimens. A precise stratigraphic placement for the Condé-en-Brie specimen is not available (see text).

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FIGURE 7. Phylogenetic tree showing position of Scaniacypselus wardi, illustrating the divergence calibrated by NHMUKA5430.

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FIGURE 8. Stratigraphic distribution of fossil Pan-Apodidae in the Paleogene. The minimum possible age of the calibrating specimen NHMUK A5430 is presented, and midpoints of age ranges are shown for the ages of other Paleogene swift specimens.

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FIGURE 9. Phylogenetic tree showing position of Sandcoleus copiosus, illustrating the divergence calibrated by USNM 433912.

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FIGURE 10. Stratigraphic distribution of fossil Coliiformes in the Paleogene. The minimum possible age of the calibrating specimen of Sandcoleus copiosus is presented, and midpoints of age ranges are shown for the ages of other Paleogene mousebird specimens.

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FIGURE 11. Phylogenetic tree showing position of Pulchrapollia gracilis, illustrating the divergence calibrated by NMH A6207. Placement of Pulchrapollia gracilis as a stem parrot is supported by multiple analyses (see text).

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FIGURE 12. Stratigraphic distribution of fossil Pan-Psittaciformes in the Paleogene. The minimum possible age of the calibrating specimen NMH A6207 is presented, and midpoints of age ranges are shown for the ages of other Paleogene parrot specimens. Note that the London Clay Formation also contains multiple associated skeletons and isolated bones in addition to the holotype of Pulchrapollia gracilis that serves as a calibration point.

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FIGURE 13. Phylogenetic tree showing position of Messelirrisor halcyrostris, illustrating the divergence calibrated by SMF-ME 1883a+b.

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FIGURE 14. Stratigraphic distribution of fossil Upupiformes in the Paleogene. The minimum possible age of the calibrating specimen SMF-ME 1883a+b is presented, and midpoints of age ranges are shown for the ages of other Paleogene Upupiformes. The fossil record of Upupiformes is probably more complete than implied by the figure as several important specimens may belong to this clade await evaluation (see text). 

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ksepkaDaniel Ksepka
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center
Durham, North Carolina, 27706
USA
Current address: Bruce Museum
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
USA
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Dan Ksepka is a vertebrate paleontologist and evolutionary biologist at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center. He received a BS in Geological Sciences from Rutgers University and a PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University through the American Museum of Natural History joint fellowship program. His current research focuses on exploring patterns of congruence and disparity between fossil ages and molecular divergence dates. Dan is also interested in major evolutionary transitions in birds, especially the evolution of wing-propelled diving in penguins. He enjoys sharing science with all types of audiences and blogs at March of the Fossil Penguins (fossilpenguins.wordpress.com).

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clarkeJulia Clarke
Department of Geological Sciences
Jackson School of Geosciences
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas 78713
USA
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Julia Clarke is an Associate Professor in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. Julia’s research focuses on using phylogenetic methods and diverse data types to gain insight into the evolution of birds, avian flight and the co-option of the flight stroke for underwater diving. She is particularly interested in understanding shared patterns and potential causal factors in the evolution of living bird lineages. International collaborations and fieldwork provide new fossil data to approach these questions. She received a B.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. from Yale University (2002).

 

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Phylogenetically vetted and stratigraphically constrained fossil calibrations within Aves

Daniel Ksepka and Julia Clarke

Plain Language Abstract

Understanding the timing of evolutionary events requires information from the fossil record. Scientists can combine the ages of fossils with DNA data to figure out how long ago two species split from one another (a branching event on the tree of life).

This paper presents a set of fossil bird specimens that are useful for dating events in DNA-based evolutionary trees. For each fossil we review the evidence in the rock record for the age, the features of the skeleton that tell us what group of birds it belongs to, and the branch that it occupies.

Resumen en Español

text

Traducción: Enrique Peñalver

Résumé en Français

Text

Translator: Kenny J. Travouillon

Deutsche Zusammenfassung

In progress

Translator: Eva Gebauer

Arabic

in progress

Translator: Ashraf M.T. Elewa