, Volume 92, Issue 12, pp 586–591 | Cite as

Osteological evidence for sister group relationship between pseudo-toothed birds (Aves: Odontopterygiformes) and waterfowls (Anseriformes)

  • Estelle BourdonEmail author
Short Communication


The phylogenetic affinities of the extinct pseudo-toothed birds have remained controversial. Some authors noted that they resemble both pelicans and allies (Pelecaniformes) and tube-nosed birds (Procellariiformes), but assigned them to a distinct taxon, the Odontopterygiformes. In most recent studies, the pseudo-toothed birds are referred to the family Pelagornithidae inside the Pelecaniformes. Here, I perform a cladistic analysis with five taxa of the pseudo-toothed birds including two undescribed new species from the Early Tertiary of Morocco. The present hypothesis strongly supports a sister group relationship of pseudo-toothed birds (Odontopterygiformes) and waterfowls (Anseriformes). The Odontoanserae (Odontopterygiformes plus Anseriformes) are the sister group of Neoaves. The placement of the landfowls (Galliformes) as the sister taxon of all other neognathous birds does not support the consensus view that the Galloanserae (Galliformes plus Anseriformes) are monophyletic.


Eocene Paleocene Parsimonious Tree Sister Taxon Cladistic Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work has been supported by the Prévost Fund of the MNHN, the NHM, the Chapman Memorial Fund of the AMNH, the USNM, the OCP, the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Morocco and the Rhinopolis Association. Photographs were taken by D. Serrette and P. Loubry (MNHN). I thank four anonymous referees and G. Mayr for useful comments on the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département Histoire de la Terre (MNHN/CNRS UMR 5143)Muséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance

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