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Recognizing and Testing Homology of Courtship Displays in Storks (Aves: Ciconiiformes: Ciconiidae)

Beth Slikas
Evolution
Vol. 52, No. 3 (Jun., 1998), pp. 884-893
DOI: 10.2307/2411283
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2411283
Page Count: 10
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Recognizing and Testing Homology of Courtship Displays in Storks (Aves: Ciconiiformes: Ciconiidae)
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Abstract

Ethological studies in the 1940s and 1950s, most notably those of Lorenz and Tinbergen, emphasized a historical perspective. By the 1970s, the notion that behavioral traits are too plastic to retain historical information became prevalent, and evolutionary approaches in behavioral studies were largely abandoned. However, several recent studies have demonstrated that behavioral characters are remarkably consistent with phylogenies obtained from other data and not particularly prone to homoplasy. In this study, I coded descriptions of courtship display behaviors in stork species (Aves: Ciconiiformes: Ciconiidae) as a matrix of discrete characters. I mapped each behavioral character onto a phylogeny based on DNA-DNA hybridization distances to test the homology of individual characters. Generally, displays occurring early in courtship were congruent with phylogenetic relationships and showed little homoplasy, while displays occurring late in courtship were more homoplastic. I also performed a phylogenetic analysis of the behavioral data matrix using maximum parsimony. The strict consensus of the 24 most-parsimonious trees was congruent with the DNA-DNA hybridization tree in all nodes having greater than 70% bootstrap support.

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