We were very wrong about bird

The recent studies published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and Nature have revealed a significant genetic event approximately 65 million years ago that has led scientists to reassess the evolution of birds.  

This genetic event involves a section of one chromosome that has not mixed together with nearby DNA as expected, making it challenging to construct an accurate bird family tree. 

In 2014, advancements in genomic sequencing technology allowed scientists to construct a family tree for Neoaves, a group comprising the majority of bird species. 

This initial analysis divided Neoaves into two major categories, with doves and flamingos grouped together and all other bird species in another group. 

However, a recent genetic analysis involving 363 bird species presented a different family tree, indicating the existence of four main groups and revealing that flamingos and doves are more distantly related than previously thought.  

This discrepancy in the family trees led researchers to investigate specific spots in the chromosomes. 

The research team discovered that there is a specific spot in the genome where genes have not mixed together as expected over millions of years of sexual reproduction.  

This finding suggests that the older family tree, supported by genes in this particular spot, may be more accurate. 

These studies highlight the complexity of avian evolution and the importance of genomic sequencing and analysis in understanding the evolutionary history of birds.