Journal für Ornithologie

, Volume 144, Issue 2, pp 157–175 | Cite as

The phylogenetic affinities of the Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)

  • Gerald Mayr


The phylogenetic affinities between the shoebill (Balaenicipitidae) and pelecaniform and ciconiiform birds are analysed. A cladistic analysis of 54 anatomical characters resulted in monophyly of the taxon (Scopidae + (Balaenicipitidae + Steganopodes (sensu Cracraft 1985))) and showed both Ciconiiformes and Pelecaniformes to be polyphyletic. Derived characters which support the resulting phylogeny are discussed. Monophyly of the taxon (Scopidae + (Balaenicipitidae + Steganopodes)) is better supported by morphological evidence than monophyly of the taxon (Procellariiformes + (Phaethontidae + Steganopodes)) which was established by Cracraft (1985). The shared derived characters of Scopidae, Balaenicipitidae and Steganopodes are furthermore less easily explained by convergent evolution than by the few characters which support monophyly of the taxon (Phaethontidae + Steganopodes). The Phaethontidae share derived characters with the Procellariiformes, which might support a sister group relationship between the two taxa.


Phylogeny Balaenicipitidae Scopidae Pelecaniformes Ciconiiformes Procellariiformes osteology 

Die phylogenetischen Beziehungen des Schuhschnabels (Balaeniceps rex)


Die phylogenetischen Beziehungen zwischen dem Schuhschnabel (Balaenicipitidae) und pelecaniformen und ciconiiformen Vögeln werden untersucht. Eine kladistische Analyse von 54 anatomischen Merkmalen resultierte in Monophylie des Taxons (Scopidae + (Balaenicipitidae + Steganopodes (sensu Cracraft 1985))) und ergab, dass sowohl Ciconiiformes als auch Pelecaniformes polyphyletisch sind. Abgeleitete Merkmale, welche den resultierenden Stammbaum begründen, werden diskutiert. Monophylie des Taxons (Scopidae + (Balaenicipitidae + Steganopodes)) ist besser gestützt durch morphologische Merkmale, als die von Cracraft (1985) begründete Monophylie des Taxons (Procellariiformes + (Phaethontidae + Steganopodes)). Die gemeinsamen abgeleiteten Merkmale von Scopidae, Balaenicipitidae und Steganopodes lassen sich darüber hinaus weniger leicht durch Konvergenz erklären, als die wenigen Merkmale, welche Monophylie des Taxons (Phaethontidae + Steganopodes) begründen könnten. Die Phaethontidae teilen abgeleitete Merkmale mit den Procellariiformes, welche eine Schwestergruppenbeziehung zwischen beiden Taxa stützen könnten.


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Ornithologen-Gesellschaft/Blackwell Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Mayr
    • 1
  1. 1.Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Sektion für OrnithologieFrankfurt/M.Germany

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