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Phylogeny of the Phalacrocoracidae

Douglas Siegel-Causey
The Condor
Vol. 90, No. 4 (Nov., 1988), pp. 885-905
DOI: 10.2307/1368846
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1368846
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Phylogeny of the Phalacrocoracidae
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Abstract

I undertook a phylogenetic analysis of the Recent taxa of Phalacrocoracidae using qualitative osteological characters. The family comprises two subfamilies. The Phalacrocoracinae (cormorants) comprise four genera of all-dark, littorine species: Microcarbo (microcormorants), Compsohalieus (marine cormorants), Hypoleucos (mesocormorants), and Phalacrocorax (macrocormorants). The Leucocarboninae (shags) comprise five genera of variably plumaged, littorine, and pelagic species: Leucocarbo (guano shags), Notocarbo (blue-eyed shags), Nesocarbo (Campbell Island Shag), Euleucocarbo (New Zealand blue-eyed shags), and Stictocarbo (cliff shags). The relationship of the anhingas (Anhingidae) to the Phalacrocoracidae remains problematical and unresolved. Additional analyses using cranial or post-cranial characters produced comparable results, with the greatest divergence obtained when only crania were compared. I discuss the nature of homoplasy in the family: cormorants are characterized by convergences, shags by reversals. Plumage patterns have functional correlates, but phylogenetic history may be the ultimate factor.

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