These are modern bird orders. Only a handful of rather controversial Cretaceous fossils have been claimed to be neornithine. The majority of these are represented by only a single bone. Of the modern bird orders which have a convincing fossil record, the majority are first recorded in the Cenozoic. This has led to much debate on whether modern birds radiated out after the K-T (Cretaceous-Tertiary) Boundary as the fossil record suggests, or before this event, as molecular evidence suggests.
Author: Robert Davis
Last updated: 21/11/05
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