Near passerine

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Near passerine or higher land-bird assemblage are terms of traditional, pre-cladistic taxonomy that have often been given to tree-dwelling birds or those most often believed to be related to the true passerines (order Passeriformes) due to ecological similarities; the group corresponds to some extent with the Anomalogonatae of Alfred Henry Garrod.[1]


All near passerines are land birds. Whether all of these orders represent relatives of the Passeriformes is not well-supported by more recent molecular data; however the bulk of evidence[citation needed] supports the hypothesis that most do indeed form a clade that also includes the Passeriformes. In addition, it is now becoming increasingly clear that "near passerines" and "higher landbirds" are not synonymous, but that the former is more probably a subclade of the latter.

Per Ericson and colleagues, in analysing genomic DNA, revealed a lineage comprising Passerines, Psittaciformes and Falconiformes.[2]


The near passerines traditionally comprise the following orders[citation needed] (with common names of some families in the orders):

Of these, the relationship of the Strigiformes is uncertain[citation needed], whereas the first three groups almost certainly do not belong here[citation needed]; sandgrouse (Pterocliformes) may not even be higher landbirds[citation needed]. The Cuculiformes, Piciformes (including toucans), Coraciiformes (including hornbills) and Trogoniformes seem to be very close to the Passeriformes on the other hand (Johansson & Ericson 2003), and one of these almost certainly is—among the living birds—the sister taxon of the Passeriformes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Garrod defined his Anomalogonatae as birds lacking the ambiens muscle, namely the coraciforms and passerines. The Birds of North and Middle America, Robert Ridgway, Herbert Friedmann, p. 297.
  2. ^ Ericson, P. G. P.; Anderson, C. L.; Britton, T.; Elzanowski, A.; Johansson, U. S.; Källersjö, M.; Ohlson, J. I.; Parsons, T. J.; Zuccon, D.; Mayr, G. (2006). "Diversification of Neoaves: integration of molecular sequence data and fossils". Biology Letters 2 (4): 543–547. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2006.0523. PMC 1834003. PMID 17148284.