Phaethoquornithes is a clade of birds that contains Eurypygimorphae and Aequornithes, found in 2014 by genome analysis.[4] Members of Eurypygimorphae were originally classified in the obsolete group Metaves, and Aequornithes were classified as the sister taxon to Musophagiformes or Gruiformes.[5][6]

Temporal range: Early Paleocene–Holocene 62–0 Ma[1] Possible an early origin based on molecular clock[2]
Juvenile red throated diver.jpg
Juvenile red-throated loon (Gavia stellata)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Passerea
Clade: Phaethoquornithes
Sangster et al., 2022[3]

Ardeae has also been used in older classifications as a suborder of Ciconiiformes containing herons and related species.[7]


Phaethontiformes (tropicbirds)Cuvier-95-Phaeton à bec rouge.jpg

Eurypygiformes (sunbittern and kagu)Cuvier-72-Caurale soleil.jpg


Gaviiformes (loons)

Procellariiformes (albatrosses and petrels) Thalassarche chlororhynchos 1838.jpg

Sphenisciformes (penguins) Chinstrap Penguin white background.jpg

Ciconiiformes (storks) Weißstorch (Ciconia ciconia) white background.jpg

Suliformes (boobies, cormorants, etc.)

Pelecaniformes (pelicans, herons & ibises) Spot-billed pelican takeoff white background.jpg

Cladogram based on Kuhl, H. et al. (2020)[2]


  1. ^ Slack, Kerryn E.; Jones, Craig M.; Ando, Tatsuro; Harrison, G.L. "Abby"; Fordyce, R. Ewan; Arnason, Ulfur; Penny, David (2006). "Early Penguin Fossils, plus Mitochondrial Genomes, Calibrate Avian Evolution". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 23 (#6): 1144–1155. CiteSeerX doi:10.1093/molbev/msj124. PMID 16533822. Supplementary Material Archived December 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Kuhl., H.; Frankl-Vilches, C.; Bakker, A.; Mayr, G.; Nikolaus, G.; Boerno, S. T.; Klages, S.; Timmermann, B.; Gahr, M. (2020). "An unbiased molecular approach using 3'UTRs resolves the avian family-level tree of life". Molecular Biology and Evolution: 143. doi:10.1093/molbev/msaa191. PMC 7783168.
  3. ^ Sangster, G.; Braun, E.L.; Johansson, U.S.; Kimball, R.T.; Mayr, G.; Suh, A. (2022). "Phylogenetic definitions for 25 higher-level clade names of birds". Avian Research. 13: 100027. doi:10.1016/j.avrs.2022.100027.
  4. ^ Jarvis, E.D.; et al. (12 December 2014). "Whole-genome analyses resolve early branches in the tree of life of modern birds". Science. 346 (6215): 1320–1331. Bibcode:2014Sci...346.1320J. doi:10.1126/science.1253451. PMC 4405904. PMID 25504713.
  5. ^ Ericson, P. G.P; Anderson, C. L; Britton, T.; Elzanowski, A.; Johansson, U. S; Kallersjo, M.; Ohlson, J. I; Parsons, T. J; Zuccon, D.; Mayr, G. (22 December 2006). "Diversification of Neoaves: integration of molecular sequence data and fossils". Biology Letters. 2 (4): 543–547. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2006.0523. PMC 1834003. PMID 17148284.
  6. ^ Hackett, S. J.; Kimball, R. T.; Reddy, S.; et al. (27 June 2008). "A Phylogenomic Study of Birds Reveals Their Evolutionary History" (PDF). Science. 320 (5884): 1763–1768. Bibcode:2008Sci...320.1763H. doi:10.1126/science.1157704. PMID 18583609. S2CID 6472805.
  7. ^ Wetmore, Alexander (1960). "A classification for the birds of the world". Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections. 139 (11): 1–37. hdl:10088/22963.