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taxon links [up-->]Centropodinae [up-->]Couinae [up-->]Neomorphinae [up-->]Cuculinae [up-->]Crotophaginae [down<--]Neoaves Interpreting the tree
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This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

example of a tree diagram

You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.

For more information on ToL tree formatting, please see Interpreting the Tree or Classification. To learn more about phylogenetic trees, please visit our Phylogenetic Biology pages.

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Relationships after Sorenson & Payne 2005.

Containing group: Neoaves

Other Names for Cuculidae


Aragon, S., A. P. Moller, J. J. Soler, and M. Soler. 1999. Molecular phylogeny of cuckoos supports a polyphyletic origin of brood parasitism. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 12(3):495-506.

Johnson, K. P., S. M. Goodman, and S. M. Lanyon. 2000. A phylogenetic study of the Malagasy couas with insights into cuckoo relationships. Mol. Phylogenet. and Evol. 14: 436444.

Korzun, L. P., Erard, C., Gasc, J. P., and Dzerzhinsky, F. J. 2003. Biomechanical features of the bill and and jaw apparatus of cuckoos, turacos and the hoatzin in relation to food acquisition and processing. Ostrich 74(1-2):48-57.

Kruger, O. and N. B. Davies. 2002. The evolution of cuckoo parasitism: a comparative analysis. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 269(1489):375-381.

Hughes, J. M. 1996. Phylogenetic analysis of the Cuculidae (Aves, Cuculiformes) using behavioral and ecological characters. Auk 113:10-22.

Hughes, J. M. 2000. Monophyly and phylogeny of cuckoos (Aves, Cuculidae) inferred from osteological characters. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 130: 263-307.

Payne, R. B. 1997. Family Cuculidae (Cuckoos). Pages 508-607 in Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4. J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, and J. Sargatal, eds. BirdLife/Lynx Edixions, Barcelona.

Payne, R. B. 2005. The Cuckoos. Bird Families of the World XV. Oxford University Press, New York.

Posso, S. R. and R. J. Donatelli. 2006. Phylogenetic analysis of Cuculiformes (Aves) based on osteology, behavior and ecology: systematics and evolutionary implications. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 23(3):608-629.

Sorenson, M.D. and R.B. Payne. 2005. Molecular systematics: cuckoo phylogeny inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences. Pp. 68-94 in R.B. Payne. Bird Families of the World: Cuckoos. Oxford University Press.

Title Illustrations
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Guira guira
Location Brasilia - DF, Brazil
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Anu-branco - Guira guira - Guira Cuckoo
Source Collection Flickr
Copyright © 2005 Ciro Albano
Scientific Name Chrysococcyx basalis
Location Jerrabomberra Wetlands, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Horsefield's Bronze-cuckoo
Source Collection Flickr
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 2.0.
Copyright © 2006 Julian Robinson
Scientific Name Centropus superciliosus
Location Kruger National Park, South Africa
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Life Cycle Stage juvenile
Source In the moring mist
Source Collection Flickr
Copyright © 2006 Callie de Wet
About This Page

Page: Tree of Life Cuculiformes. Cuculidae. Cuckoos. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Tree of Life Web Project. 2007. Cuculiformes. Cuculidae. Cuckoos. Version 28 August 2007 (temporary). http://tolweb.org/Cuculidae/26409/2007.08.28 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

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