Journal article

An unexpectedly long history of sexual selection in birds-of-paradise

Martin Irestedt, Knud A Jonsson, Jon Fjeldsa, Les Christidis, Per GP Ericson

BMC EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY | BMC | Published : 2009

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae) form one of the most prominent avian examples of sexual selection and show a complex biogeographical distribution. The family has accordingly been used as a case-study in several significant evolutionary and biogeographical syntheses. As a robust phylogeny of the birds-of-paradise has been lacking, these hypotheses have been tentative and difficult to assess. Here we present a well supported species phylogeny with divergence time estimates of the birds-of-paradise. We use this to assess if the rates of the evolution of sexually selected traits and speciation have been excessively high within the birds-of-paradise, as well as to re-interpret b..

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University of Melbourne Researchers