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David P. Mindell – One of the best experts on this subject based on the ideXlab platform.

  • Phylogeny of eagles, Old World vultures, and other Accipitridae based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.
    Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 2005
    Co-Authors: Heather R. L. Lerner, David P. Mindell


    We assessed phylogenetic relationships for birds of prey in the family Accipitridae using molecular sequence from two mitochondrial genes (1047 bases ND2 and 1041 bases cyt-b) and one nuclear intron (1074 bases b-fibrinogen intron 7). We sampled representatives of all 14 Accipitridae subfamilies, focusing on four subfamilies of eagles (booted eagles, sea eagles, harpy eagles, and snake eagles) and two subfamilies of Old World vultures (Gypaetinae and Aegypiinae) with nearly all known species represented. Multiple well-supported relationships among accipitrids identified with DNA differ from those traditionally recognized based on morphology or life history traits. Monophyly of sea eagles (Haliaeetinae) and booted eagles (Aquilinae) was supported; however, harpy eagles (Harpiinae), snake eagles (Circaetinae), and Old World vultures were found to be non-monophyletic. The Gymnogene (Polyboroides typus) and the Crane Hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens) were not found to be close relatives, presenting an example of convergent evolution for specialized limb morphology enabling predation on cavity nesting species. Investigation of named subspecies within Hieraaetus fasciatus and H. morphnoides revealed significant genetic differentiation or non-monophyly supporting recognition of H. spilogaster and H. weiskei as distinctive species. 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Juha Merila – One of the best experts on this subject based on the ideXlab platform.

  • complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the himalayan griffon gyps himalayensis accipitriformes Accipitridae sequence structure and phylogenetic analyses
    Ecology and Evolution, 2019
    Co-Authors: Lichun Jiang, Liqing Peng, Min Tang, Min Zhang, Andrea J West, Qiping Ruan, Wei Chen, Juha Merila


    : This is the first study to describe the mitochondrial genome of the Himalayan Griffon, Gyps himalayensis, which is an Old World vulture belonging to the family Accipitridae and occurring along the Himalayas and the adjoining Tibetan Plateau. Its mitogenome is a closed circular molecule 17,381 bp in size containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA coding genes, two rRNA-coding genes, a control region (CR), and an extra pseudo-control region (CCR) that are conserved in most Accipitridae mitogenomes. The overall base composition of the G. himalayensis mitogenome is 24.55% A, 29.49% T, 31.59% C, and 14.37% G, which is typical for bird mitochondrial genomes. The alignment of the Accipitridae species control regions showed high levels of genetic variation and abundant AT content. At the 5′ end of the domain I region, a long continuous poly-C sequence was found. Two tandem repeats were found in the pseudo-control regions. Phylogenetic analysis with Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood based on 13 protein-coding genes indicated that the relationships at the family level were (Falconidae + (Cathartidae + (Sagittariidae + (Accipitridae + Pandionidae))). In the Accipitridae clade, G. himalayensis is more closely related to Aegypius monachus than to Spilornis cheela. The complete mitogenome of G. himalayensis provides a potentially useful resource for further exploration of the taxonomic status and phylogenetic history of Gyps species.

Mariana B. J. Picasso – One of the best experts on this subject based on the ideXlab platform.

  • Wing and tail myology of Tyto furcata (Aves, Tytonidae).
    Journal of Morphology, 2020
    Co-Authors: Gastón E. Lo Coco, Matías J. Motta, María Clelia Mosto, Mariana B. J. Picasso


    Barn Owls (Tytonidae) are nocturnal raptors with the largest geographical distribution among Strigiformes. Several osteological, morphometrical, and biomechanical studies of this species were performed by previous authors. Nevertheless, the myology of forelimb and tail of the Barn Owls is virtually unknown. This study is the first detailed myological study performed on the wing and tail of the American Barn Owl (Tyto furcata). A total of 11 specimens were dissected and their morphology and muscle masses were described. Although T. furcata has the wing and tail myological pattern present in other species of Strigiformes, some peculiarities were observed including a difference in the attachment of m. pectoralis propatagialis due to the lack of the os prominence, and the presence of an osseous arch in the radius that seems to widen the anchorage area of the mm. pronator profundus, extensor longus alulae, and extensor longus digiti majoris. Furthermore, the m. biceps brachii has an unusual extra belly that flexes the forearm. The interosseous muscles have a small size and lacks ossified tendons. This feature may be indicative of a lower specialization in the elevation and flexion of the digiti majoris. Forelimb and tail muscle mass account for 10.66 and 0.24% of the total body mass, respectively. Forelimb muscle mass value is similar to the nocturnal (Strigiformes) and diurnal (Falconidae and Accipitridae) raptors, while the tail value is lower than in the diurnal raptors (Falconidae and Accipitridae). The myological differences with other birds of prey are here interpreted in association with their “parachuting” hunting style. This work complements our knowledge of the axial musculature of the American Barn owls, and provides important information for future studies related to functional morphology and ecomorphology.

  • Neurocranial and brain anatomy of a Late Miocene eagle (Aves, Accipitridae) from Patagonia
    Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2009
    Co-Authors: Mariana B. J. Picasso, Claudia P. Tambussi, María Teresa Dozo


    ABSTRACT The neurocranial fragment from the Late Miocene (Huayquerian SALMA, 9,0 to 6,8 Ma) of Estancia La Pastosa new locality, Puerto Madryn Formation, Patagonia, Argentina, is described. This is the first available fossil skull of Accipitridae in South America. Features as the elongated-triangular shape of the cranial roof, vast separation between the processus postorbitalis and between both fossae temporalis, and narrow and acuminate outline of the fossa temporalis allow to assign the fossil to Accipitridae Vieilloit, 1816. The well-preserved cavum cranii allowed construction of an endocast that partially reflects brain anatomy. The latter is very similar to those of extant and fossil species of Accipitridae. This fossil eagle is the only predator recorded at this new Miocene locality thus far.