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Temporal range: Oligocene-Holocene, 25–0Ma
Lightmatter flamingo.jpg
Podiceps cristatus 2 (Lukasz Lukasik).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Metaves
Clade: Mirandornithes
Sangster, 2005

Mirandornithes (name coined by Sangster (2005)[1]) is a clade that consists of flamingos and grebes.

Determining the relationships of both groups has been problematic. Flamingos had been placed with numerous branches within Neognathae, such as ducks and storks. The grebes had been placed with the loons. However recent studies seem to confirm these two branches as sister groups.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Both primitive phoenicopteriformes and their closest relatives, the grebes, were highly aquatic. This indicates that the entire mirandornithe group evolved from aquatic, probably swimming ancestors.[4]


  1. ^ Sangster, G. (2005) A name for the flamingo-grebe clade. Ibis. 147:612–615.
  2. ^ Van Tuinen, M. Butvill, D. B. Kirsch, J. A. & Hedges, S. B. (2001) Convergence and divergence in the evolution of aquatic birds. Proc. R. Soc. B 268(1474):1345–1350. DOI:10.1098/rspb.2001.1679.
  3. ^ Chubb, A. L. (2004a) New nuclear evidence for the oldest divergence among neognath birds: The phylogenetic utility of ZENK (i). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 30(1):140–151. DOI:10.1016/S1055-7903(03)00159-3.
  4. ^ a b Mayr, G. (2004). Morphological evidence for sister group relationship between flamingos (Aves: Phoenicopteridae) and grebes (Podicipedidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 140(2), 157-169.
  5. ^ Fain, M. G. Houde, P. (2004) Parallel radiations in the primary clades of birds. Evolution 58(11):2558–2573. DOI:10.1554/04-235.
  6. ^ Ericson, P. G. P. Anderson, C. L. Britton, T. Elzanowski, A. Johansson, U. S. Kllersj, M. Ohlson, J. I. & Parsons, T. J. (2006) Diversification of Neoaves: integration of molecular sequence data and fossils. Biology Letters. 2(4):543–547. DOI:10.1098/rsbl.2006.0523.
  7. ^ Hackett, S. J. et al. (2008) A Phylogenomic Study of Birds Reveals Their Evolutionary History. Science 320(5884):1763–1768. DOI:10.1126/science.1157704.