Charadriiformes

Charadriiformes
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous- Present, 75–0  Ma
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חופמאים-01.jpg
Several members of the order
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Passerea
Clade: Gruae
Clade: Gruimorphae
Order: Charadriiformes
Huxley, 1867
Families

See text.

Charadriiformes is a diverse order of small to medium-large birds. It includes about 350 species and has members in all parts of the world. Most Charadriiformes live near water and eat invertebrates or other small animals; however, some are pelagic (seabirds), some occupy deserts and a few are found in thick forest.

Taxonomy, systematics and evolution

The order was formerly divided into three suborders:

  • The waders (or "Charadrii"): typical shorebirds, most of which feed by probing in the mud or picking items off the surface in both coastal and freshwater environments.
  • The gulls and their allies (or " Lari"): these are generally larger species which take fish from the sea. Several gulls and skuas will also take food items from beaches, or rob smaller species, and some have become adapted to inland environments.
  • The auks (or "Alcae") are coastal species which nest on sea cliffs and "fly" underwater to catch fish.

The Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy, which has been widely accepted in America,[ citation needed] lumps all the Charadriiformes together with other seabirds and birds of prey into a greatly enlarged order Ciconiiformes. However, the resolution of the DNA-DNA hybridization technique used by Sibley & Ahlquist was not sufficient to properly resolve the relationships in this group, and indeed it appears as if the Charadriiformes constitute a single large and very distinctive lineage of modern birds of their own. [1]

The auks, usually considered distinct because of their peculiar morphology, are more likely related to gulls, the "distinctness" being a result of adaptation for diving. Following recent research, [2] a better arrangement may be as follows:

Families in taxonomic order

This is a list of the charadriiform families, presented in taxonomic order.

More conservatively, the Thinocori could be included in the Scolopaci, and the Chionidi in the Charadrii, or the Glareolidae could be placed in a suborder of their own. The buttonquails are of indeterminate or basal position in the Lari-Scolopaci sensu lato group. The arrangement as presented here is a consensus of the recent studies. [3]


Charadriiformes

Chionidi
Burhinidae

Burhinus



Esacus





Chionis



Pluvianellus socialis




Charadrii

Pluvianus aegyptius




Charadriidae

Pluvialis





Vanellus




Erythrogonys cinctus




Peltohyas australis



Anarhynchus frontalis







Oreopholus ruficollis




Phegornis mitchellii




Eudromias morinellus




Charadrius




Elseyornis melanops



Thinornis










Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostra




Himantopus



Cladorhynchus leucocephalus






Haematopus



Ibidorhyncha struthersii









Limicoli
Scolopacidae


Bartramia longicauda



Numenius





Limosa



Arenariini

Arenaria




Calidris





Limicola falcinellus



Philomachus




Ereunetes






Tringini

Prosobonia cancellata





Xenus cinereus



Phalaropus





Actitis



Tringa





Scolopacini


Lymnocryptes minimus



Limnodromus





Scolopax




Coenocorypha



Gallinago












Jacanidae


Rostratulidae

Nycticryphes semicollaris



Rostratula





Thinocoridae

Attagis



Thinocorus




Pedionomus torquatus





Lari
Turnicidae

Ortyxelos meiffrenii



Turnix






Dromas ardeola


Glareolidae

Rhinoptilus




Cursorius




Stiltia isabella



Glareola








Laridae




Stercorarius



Alcidae









Cladogram based on Baker, A.J. et al. (2012) [4]

Evolution history

That the Charadriiformes are an ancient group is also borne out by the fossil record. Much of the Neornithes' fossil record around the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event is made up of bits and pieces of birds which resemble this order. In many, this is probably due to convergent evolution brought about by semiaquatic habits. Specimen VI 9901 ( López de Bertodano Formation, Late Cretaceous of Vega Island, Antarctica) is probably a basal charadriiform somewhat reminiscent of a thick-knee. [5] However, more complete remains of undisputed charadriiforms are known only from the mid- Paleogene onwards. Present-day orders emerged around the Eocene- Oligocene boundary, roughly 35-30 mya. Basal or unresolved charadriiforms are:

  • " Morsoravis" (Late Paleocene/Early Eocene of Jutland, Denmark) - a nomen nudum?
  • Jiliniornis (Huadian Middle Eocene of Huadian, China) - charadriid?
  • Boutersemia (Early Oligocene of Boutersem, Belgium) - glareolid?
  • Turnipax (Early Oligocene) - turnicid?
  • Elorius (Early Miocene Saint-Gérand-le-Puy, France)
  • "Larus" desnoyersii (Early Miocene of SE France) - larid? stercorarid?
  • "Larus" pristinus (John Day Early Miocene of Willow Creek, USA) - larid?
  • Charadriiformes gen. et sp. indet. (Bathans Early/Middle Miocene of Otago, New Zealand) - charadriid? scolopacid? [6]
  • Charadriiformes gen. et sp. indet. (Bathans Early/Middle Miocene of Otago, New Zealand) - charadriid? scolopacid? [7]
  • Charadriiformes gen. et sp. indet. (Bathans Early/Middle Miocene of Otago, New Zealand) - larid? [8]
  • Charadriiformes gen. et sp. indet. (Sajóvölgyi Middle Miocene of Mátraszõlõs, Hungary [9]
  • "Totanus" teruelensis (Late Miocene of Los Mansuetos, Spain) - scolopacid? larid?

The "transitional shorebirds" (" Graculavidae") are a generally Mesozoic form taxon formerly believed to constitute the common ancestors of charadriiforms, waterfowl and flamingos. They are now assumed to be mostly basal taxa of the charadriiforms and/or "higher waterbirds", which probably were two distinct lineages 65 mya already,[ citation needed] and few if any are still believed to be related to the well-distinct waterfowl. Taxa formerly considered graculavids are:

  • Laornithidae - charadriiform? gruiform?
  • " Graculavidae"
    • Graculavus (Lance Creek Late Cretaceous - Hornerstown Late Cretaceous/Early Palaeocene) - charadriiform?
    • Palaeotringa (Hornerstown Late Cretaceous?) - charadriiform?
    • Telmatornis (Navesink Late Cretaceous?) - charadriiform? gruiform?
    • Scaniornis - phoenicopteriform?
    • Zhylgaia - presbyornithid?
    • Dakotornis
    • "Graculavidae" gen. et sp. indet. (Gloucester County, USA)

Other wader- or gull-like birds incertae sedis, which may or may not be Charadriiformes, are:

  • Ceramornis (Lance Creek Late Cretaceous)
  • " Cimolopteryx" (Lance Creek Late Cretaceous)
  • Palintropus (Lance Creek Late Cretaceous)
  • Torotix (Late Cretaceous)
  • Volgavis (Early Paleocene of Volgograd, Russia)
  • Eupterornis (Paleocene of France)
  • Neornithes incerta sedis (Late Paleocene/Early Eocene of Ouled Abdoun Basin, Morocco) [10]
  • Fluviatitavis (Early Eocene of Silveirinha, Portugal)
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