Date: 7/15/22 6:18 pm
From: Arthur Shippee via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: [CT Birds] The Bizarre Bird That’s Breaking the Tree of Life.
Now that we’re home thinking about our next sighting or twitch, here’s something to ponder. . . .

New Yorker: The Bizarre Bird That’s Breaking the Tree of Life Darwin thought that family trees could explain evolution. The hoatzin suggests otherwise. By Ben Crair July 15, 2022

https://www.newyorker.com/science/elements/the-bizarre-bird-thats-breaking-the-tree-of-life

“ DNA research has not solved the mysteries of the hoatzin; it has deepened them. One 2014 analysis suggested that the bird’s closest living relatives are cranes and shorebirds such as gulls and plovers. Another, in 2020, concluded that this clumsy flier is a sister species to a group that includes tiny, hovering hummingbirds and high-speed swifts. “Frankly, there is no one in the world who knows what hoatzins are,” Cracraft, who is now a member of B10K, said. The hoatzin may be more than a missing piece of the evolutionary puzzle. It may be a sphinx with a riddle that many biologists are reluctant to consider: What if the pattern of evolution is not actually a tree?”

Arthur Shippee
Hamden, CT.
Sent from my iPad

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