Temporal range: Early Cretaceous–Recent, 131–0Ma
|Fossil specimen of Sapeornis chaoyangensis, Hong Kong Science Museum|
Avebrevicauda (meaning "birds with short tails") is a group which includes all avialan species with ten or fewer free vertebrae in the tail. The group was named in 2002 by Gregory S. Paul to distinguish short-tailed avialans from their ancestors, such as Archaeopteryx, which had long, reptilian tails.
Cladogram following the results of a phylogenetic study by Lefèvre et al., 2014:
- Paul, G.S. (2002). Dinosaurs of the Air. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 460 pp.
- Lefèvre, U.; Hu, D.; Escuillié, F. O.; Dyke, G.; Godefroit, P. (2014). "A new long-tailed basal bird from the Lower Cretaceous of north-eastern China". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 113 (3): 790. doi:10.1111/bij.12343.