|Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias)|
Fain & Houde, 2004
Metaves ("higher birds") is a controversial clade proposed by Fain & Houde (2004) and later rescued on the studies of Ericson et al. (2006) and Hackett et al. (2008). This group consists of several lineages that diversified early in Neornithes evolution. These lineages include Strisores (hummingbirds, swifts, nightjars and allies), pigeons, sandgrouses, mesites, Eurypygae (sunbittern and kagu), tropicbirds and Mirandornithes (flamingos and grebes), but the exact members of Metaves and their relationship differs between those studies and the group is only supported by b-fibrinogen gene.
- Fain, Matthew G. & Houde, Peter (2004). "Parallel radiations in the primary clades of birds" (PDF). Evolution. 58 (11): 2558–2573. doi:10.1554/04-235. PMID 15612298. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-07.
- Ericson, P.G.P. et al. (2006) Diversification of Neoaves: integration of molecular sequence data and fossils Archived 2008-03-07 at the Wayback Machine.. Biology Letters, 2(4):543–547
- Hackett, S.J. et al. (2008) A Phylogenomic Study of Birds Reveals Their Evolutionary History. Science, 320(5884):1763–1768.
- Mayr G. (2011). "Metaves, Mirandornithes, Strisores and other novelties - a critical review of the higher-level phylogeny of neornithine birds". J Zool Syst Evol Res. 49: 58–76.
- Naish, D. (2012). "Birds." Pp. 379-423 in Brett-Surman, M.K., Holtz, T.R., and Farlow, J. O. (eds.), The Complete Dinosaur (Second Edition). Indiana University Press (Bloomington & Indianapolis).