SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Although trogons (Aves, Trogonidae) are well characterized by the possession of heterodactyl feet, their phylogenetic relationships to other extant birds still are only poorly understood. Molecular studies did not show conclusive results and there are amazingly few comparative studies of the anatomy of trogons. Virtually the only hypothesis on trogon relationships that was supported with derived morphological characters is a sister group relationship to alcediniform birds (bee-eaters, kingfishers, and allies), which share a derived morphology of the columella (ear-ossicle) with trogons. However, in this study a very similar columella is reported for the oilbird (Steatornithidae) and additional previously unrecognized derived osteological characters are presented, which are shared by trogons and oilbirds. A numerical cladistic analysis of 28 morphological characters also resulted in monophyly of Trogonidae and Steatornithidae, although the corresponding node was not retained in a bootstrap analysis.