Thursday, February 23, 2012

Categories (Updated)

See the updated version posted on Jan 15, 2013.

For ease of reference, here is the list of links to the updated categories I have analyzed to this point. This is a work in progress.


See the updated version posted on Jan 15, 2013.

For reference:
As a result, the possibly fish-eating Ctenochasma and Rhamphorhynchus may have had similar activity patterns to modern nocturnal seabirds, and the filter-feeding Pterodaustro may have had similar activity patterns to modern anseriform birds that feed at night. 
Some [pterosaur] advanced beaked forms were toothless, such as the pteranodonts and azhdarchids, and had larger, more extensive, and more bird-like beaks.[25]
210–124.5 Ma

Cladogram showing the most recent classification of Neoaves, based on several phylogenetic studies.

Not yet categorized:
  • Pelican
  • Vulture
  • Condor


  1. Reference info for vultures:
    "Vulture is the name given to two groups of convergently evolved scavenging birds, the New World Vultures including the well-known Californian and Andean Condors, and the Old World Vultures including the birds which are seen scavenging on carcasses of dead animals on African plains. New World Vultures are found in North and South America, Old World Vultures in Europe, Africa and Asia, meaning that between the two groups, Vultures are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica."

    "Unlike many of the other Pterosaurs Quetzalcoatlus lived inland and probably had a vulture-like existence. It's long neck would have helped it to "probe" dinosaur carcasses for meat.
    Others think they may have been carrion feeders, like modern vultures, and fed upon the carcasses of dinosaurs. Their long beaks and necks made them capable of probing deeply for food, on sea or land."
    "Quetzalcoatlus (/kwɛtsəlkoʊˈætləs/) was a pterodactyloid pterosaur known from the Late Cretaceous of North America (Maastrichtian stage, about 68–65.5 million years ago), and one of the largest known flying animals of all time. It was a member of the Azhdarchidae, a family of advanced toothless pterosaurs with unusually long, stiffened necks. Its name comes from the Mesoamerican feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl."
    "The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) is a species of South American bird in the New World vulture family Cathartidae and is the only member of the genus Vultur. Found in the Andes mountains and adjacent Pacific coasts of western South America, it has the largest wingspan (at 3.2 m or 10.5 ft) of any land bird.[2]
    It is a large black vulture with a ruff of white feathers surrounding the base of the neck and, especially in the male, large white patches on the wings."

    "The Old World Vultures found in Africa, Asia, and Europe belong to the family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards, and hawks. Old World vultures find carcasses exclusively by sight.
    The New World Vultures and condors found in warm and temperate areas of the Americas are not closely related to the similar Accipitridae, but belong in the family Cathartidae, which was once considered to be related to the storks. However, recent DNA evidence suggests that they should be included among the Accipitriformes, along with other birds of prey.[citation needed] However, they are still not closely related to the other vultures, and their similarities are due to convergent evolution. Several species have a good sense of smell, unusual for raptors, and are able to smell the dead they focus upon from great heights, up to a mile away."

    "There is some evidence that New World Vultures evolved from the stork lineage (DNA hybridization studies by Sibley & Ahlquist 1990, others summarized by AOU 1998), but apparently there is recent biochemical and other research contrary to this theory (e.g., papers presented at 2002 A.O.U. convention; see also Griffiths 1994)."
    "From the Early to the Late Pleistocene, a prehistoric species of Black Vulture, Coragyps occidentalis, known as the Pleistocene Black Vulture or – somewhat in error – the "Western Black Vulture", occurred across the present species' range. This bird did not differ much from the Black Vulture of today except in size; it was some 10-15% larger, and had a relatively flatter and wider bill.[15] It filled the same ecological niche as the living form,[16] and indeed seems to have evolved into it by decreasing in size during the last ice age.[17][18] Well documented from fossil bones, the genus Coragyps gives a rare glimpse in the evolutionary dynamics of two chronospecies."
    "A chronospecies describes a group of one or more species derived from a sequential development pattern which involves continual and uniform changes from an extinct ancestral form on an evolutionary scale. This sequence of alterations eventually produces a population which is physically, morphologically, and/or genetically distinct from the original ancestors. Throughout this change, there is only one species in the lineage at any point in time, as opposed to cases where divergent evolution produces contemporary species with a common ancestor."

  4. Pterosaur (Azhdarchidae) eg. Quetzalcoatlus ->
    Primitive flying bird (dromaeosaur? enantionithes? -->
    Primitive vulture eg. Pleistocene Black Vulture (Coragyps occidentalis)? -->
    Vultures, condors (New World? Old World?)

  5. New world vulture:
    "A related extinct family were the Teratornithidae or Teratorns, essentially an exclusively (North) American counterpart to the New World vultures — the latter were, in prehistoric times, also present in Europe and possibly even evolved there. The Incredible Teratorn is sometimes called "Giant Condor" because it must have looked similar to the modern bird. They were, however, not very closely related but rather another example of convergent evolution, though the external similarity is less emphasized in recent times due to new information suggesting that the teratorns were more predatory than vultures.[21]"