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Modern forms

Only the Neornithes survived beyond the K-T Boundary into the Cenozoic, to give rise to all modern forms of bird. There is a huge diversity within modern birds.

The main division is the Palaeognathae, of which the Ratites are the only living representatives, and the Neognathae, which are represented by all orders of flying birds.

The Neognathae can be confidently split into the Galloanserae (fowl birds - Anseriformes and Galliformes), and the Neoaves (all other bird orders). The relationships between orders in the Neoves are highly unresolved.

The Neoavian orders


Author: Robert Davis
Last updated: 21/11/05

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Websites produced by students on the MSc Palaeobiology programme in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol for academic year 2005-6