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Advances in Ciconiiform Systematics 1976-1996

Frederick H. Sheldon and Beth Slikas
Colonial Waterbirds
Vol. 20, No. 1 (1997), pp. 106-114
Published by: Waterbird Society
DOI: 10.2307/1521772
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1521772
Page Count: 9
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Advances in Ciconiiform Systematics 1976-1996
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Abstract

In the last 20 years, the study of the phylogeny of herons, storks, ibises, and flamingos has yielded mixed results. In some cases, our understanding of relationships is much improved, and thus provides a substantial framework for evolutionary studies of ecology and behavior. This is particularly true within the Ardeidae and Ciconiidae, where molecular and morphological comparisons among species are most extensive and behavioral databases most comprehensive. For storks and herons, we have already begun with gusto to study the historical patterns of morphology, behavior, and vocalizations. Unfortunately, we do not have similar phylogenetic information on ibises and flamingos. However, sorting out the relationships of species within these groups will simply be a matter of application, and it should happen soon. More difficult and frustrating is our inability, despite substantial effort, to discern the relationships among the traditional ciconiiform families and other groups, including pelecaniform and falconiform families.

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