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Does behavior reflect phylogeny in swiftlets (Aves: Apodidae)? A test using cytochrome b mitochondrial DNA sequences

Lee, P.L.M., Clayton, D.H., Griffiths, R., and Page, R.D.M. (1996) Does behavior reflect phylogeny in swiftlets (Aves: Apodidae)? A test using cytochrome b mitochondrial DNA sequences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 93 (14). pp. 7091-7096. ISSN 0027-8424

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Publisher's URL: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/93/14/7091

Abstract

Swiftlets are small insectivorous birds, many of which nest in caves and are known to echolocate. Due to a lack of distinguishing morphological characters, the taxonomy of swiftlets is primarily based on the presence or absence of echolocating ability, together with nest characters. To test the reliability of these behavioral characters, we constructed an independent phylogeny using cytochrome b mitochondrial DNA sequences from swiftlets and their relatives. This phylogeny is broadly consistent with the higher classification of swifts but does not support the monophyly of swiftlets. Echolocating swiftlets (Aerodramus) and the nonecholocating "giant swiftlet" (Hydrochous gigas) group together, but the remaining nonecholocating swiftlets belonging to Collocalia are not sister taxa to these swiftlets. While echolocation may be a synapomorphy of Aerodramus (perhaps secondarily lost in Hydrochous), no character of Aerodramus nests showed a statistically significant fit to the molecular phylogeny, indicating that nest characters are not phylogenetically reliable in this group.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Page, Prof Roderic
Authors: Lee, P.L.M., Clayton, D.H., Griffiths, R., and Page, R.D.M.
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Journal Name:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
ISSN (Online):1091-6490
Copyright Holders:©Copyright National Academy of Sciences
First Published:First published in PNAS 93 (14):7091-7096
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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