Neognathae (Typical Birds)

Abstract

The Neognathae comprise a superorder of flying, or secondarily flightless, birds in the class Aves and subclass Neornithes. They are characterized by possession of a keeled sternum and of a bony palate of the neognathous type.

Keywords: neognathae; palaeognathae; neornithes; aves; birds

Figure 1.

Palate bones, in ventral view, of (a) domestic fowl (Gallus gallus, Neognathae); (b) emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae, Palaeognathae). After Pycraft 1901b. Key: bp, basipterygoid process; mxp, maxillopalatine; pal, palatine; pmx, premaxilla; pt, pterygoid; qu, quadrate; ros, parasphenoid rostrum; vo, vomer. Note the reduced vomers (black) and juxtaposed palatines (dark grey) in Neognathae. In Palaeognathae, the palatines are separated by relatively large vomers.

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Further Reading

Bock WJ (1963) The cranial evidence for ratite affinities. Proceedings XIII International Ornithological Congress, Ithaca, NY, 17–24 June 1962, vol. 1, pp. 39–54. Baton Rouge, LA: American Ornithologists' Union.

Bock WJ and Bühler P (1989) The evolution and biogeographical history of the palaeognathous birds. In: van den Elzen R, Schuchmann K‐L, and Schmidt‐Koenig K (eds) Proceedings of the International Centennial Meeting of the Deutsche Ornithologen‐Gesellschaft, Current Topics in Avian Biology, pp. 31–36. Bonn: Verlag der Deutschen Ornithologen‐Gesellschaft.

de Beer G (1956) The evolution of ratites. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Zoology 4: 57–70.

Feduccia A (1995) Explosive evolution in Tertiary birds and mammals. Science 267: 637–638.

Gauthier J (1986) Saurischian monophyly and the origin of birds. Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences 8: 1–55.

Huxley TH (1867) On the classification of birds; and on the taxonomic value of the modifications of certain of the cranial bones observable in that Class. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, pp. 415–472. London: Zoological Society of London.

McDowell S (1948) The bony palate of birds. Part I. The Palaeognathae. Auk 65: 520–549.

Pycraft WP (1901a) On the morphology and phylogeny of the Palaeognathae (Ratitae and Crypturi) and Neognathae (Carinatae). Transactions of the Zoological Society of London, vol. XV, pp. 149–290. London: Zoological Society of London.

Pycraft WP (1901b) Some points in the morphology of the palate of the Neognathae. Journal of the Linnean Society, Zoology 28: 343–357.

Sibley CG and Ahlquist JE (1990) Phylogeny and Classification of Birds: A Study in Molecular Evolution. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Wetmore A (1960) A classification for the birds of the world. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 139: 1–37.

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How to Cite close
Andors, Allison V(Apr 2001) Neognathae (Typical Birds). In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001551]