This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.
The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.
You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.
For more information on ToL tree formatting, please see Interpreting the Tree or Classification. To learn more about phylogenetic trees, please visit our Phylogenetic Biology pages.close box
Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships
"Water Birds" is an informal name for a group including many though by no means all of the families that make their livings in the water.
Pelecaniformes and Ciconiiformes as defined here depart considerably from tradition. Pelecaniformes consists of all taxa that are closer to Pelecanus (pelicans) than to Ciconia (typical storks), while Ciconiiformes is all taxa closer to Ciconia than Pelecanus. In practice, this results in Pelecaniformes swallowing up all the traditional ciconiiform families except Ciconiidae, which remains the sole ciconiiform family.
Hackett, S. J., Kimball, R. T., Reddy, S., Bowie, R. C. K., Braun, E. L., Braun, M. J., Chojnowski, J. L., Cox, W. A., Han, K.-L., Harshman, J., Huddleston, C. J., Marks, B. D., Miglia, K. J., Moore, W. A., Sheldon, F. H., Steadman, D. W., Witt, C. C., and Yuri, T. 2008. A phylogenomic study of birds reveals their evolutionary history. Science 320(5884):1763-1768.
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- First online 27 June 2008
- Content changed 27 June 2008
Citing this page:
Tree of Life Web Project. 2008. 'Water Birds'. Version 27 June 2008 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/%27Water_Birds%27/123207/2008.06.27 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/