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Taxonomic revision and phylogenetic analysis of the flightless Mancallinae (Aves, Pan-Alcidae).


ABSTRACT: Although flightless alcids from the Miocene and Pliocene of the eastern Pacific Ocean have been known for over 100 years, there is no detailed evaluation of diversity and systematic placement of these taxa. This is the first combined analysis of morphological and molecular data to include all extant alcids, the recently extinct Great Auk Pinguinus impennis, the mancalline auks, and a large outgroup sampling of 29 additional non-alcid charadriiforms. Based on the systematic placement of Mancallinae outside of crown clade Alcidae, the clade name Pan-Alcidae is proposed to include all known alcids. An extensive review of the Mancallinae fossil record resulted in taxonomic revision of the clade, and identification of three new species. In addition to positing the first hypothesis of inter-relationships between Mancallinae species, phylogenetic results support placement of Mancallinae as the sister taxon to all other Alcidae, indicating that flightlessness evolved at least twice in the alcid lineage. Convergent osteological characteristics of Mancallinae, the flightless Great Auk, and Spheniscidae are summarized, and implications of Mancallinae diversity, radiation, and extinction in the context of paleoclimatic changes are discussed.

SUBMITTER: Smith NA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3084493 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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