A family tree for all the world’s small bird families

An international research team in which Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) are participating has for the first time reconstructed the tree of life for all the world’s approximately 140 passerine families. The passerines include more than 6,000 species, making it the largest bird group by far. The family includes all small birds, such as chickadees, thrushes and finches as well as corvids.

 

The study is based on a large amount of DNA data from one to four species per family and has used these DNA sequences in combination with fossil data to estimate the age of the different branches of the tree. The tree confirms many of the relationships between the families obtained in previous studies, but it also reveals a number of new forks in branches of the tree.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.uu.se