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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Pangalloanserae
Cladus: Galloanseres
Ordo: Galliformes
Subordo: Craci

Familia: Cracidae
Genus: Aburria
Species: Aburria aburri

Aburria Reichenbach, 1853

Handbuch der speciellen Ornithologie lfr.3DieVogel p.xxvi dP
Vernacular names
English: Piping-guans


Aburria are the piping-guans, a bird genus in the Cracidae family. Most species were formerly classified in Pipile, but a recent study (Grau et al. 2005), evaluating mtDNA, osteology and biogeography data (Grau et al., 2005) concluding that the Wattled Guan belongs in the same genus as these and is a hypermelanistic piping-guan. Thus, Pipile became a junior synonym of Aburria, though this conclusion was not accepted by the South American Checklist Committee (Remsen et al., 2007).

The same results also showed that the light-faced taxa pipile, cumanensis and cujubi are not, as was sometimes suggested, conspecific. However, free interbreeding between A. cujubi and A. cumanensis grayi in eastern Bolivia, creating a "hybrid swarm", casts doubt on this conclusion for the two species named (Remsen et al., 2007, citing del Hoyo and Motis, 2004).

It was possible to confidently resolve that the white-faced species form a clade, whereas the more basal black-faced forms are of less certain relationship. Possibly, the Black-fronted Piping-guan is the basalmost taxon, but the placement of the Wattled Piping-guan in regard to its congeners is not all too well resolved. Blue wattles evolved only once, in a lineage which seems to have originated north of the Amazon River. The piping-guans' radiation began in the latter half of the Early Pliocene, roughly 4-3.5 mya. The white-faced lineage emerged around 3 mya and its present diversity began to evolve around the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary, when the ancestors of the Red-throated Piping-guan and the blue-wattled taxa split. Due to not being calibrated by material evidence such as fossils, the divergence times cannot be estimated with a high confidence (Grau et al. 2005).

The origin of the genus was possibly in the general area of eastern Bolivia, at the very margin of its current range. From the phylogeny outlined above, the piping-guans would be expected to have originated in the southern Brazilian lowlands. However, although the relationships of the genera of guans are not entirely clear, it seems most likely that the group originated in the northern Andes region: The northernmost guan genera Chamaepetes and Penelopina appear to be basal divergences, and Aburria is most likely closer to Penelope (which represents a generally southward radiation out of the northern Andes) than to these.

Thus it appears most likely that the present genus diverged in the eastern foothills of the Andes somewhere in the vicinity of Bolivia, far to the northwest from where its origin would be presumed from the phylogeny and present-day distribution of Aburria alone (Pereira et al. 2002, Grau et al. 2005). Two considerations are worthy of note: First, the time at which the ancestor of the piping-guans diverged from Penelope has been roughly dated to the Burdigalian, some 20-15 mya, which leaves a considerable gap during which no surviving piping-guan lineage evolved (Pereira et al. 2002). Secondly, it is notable that in the Late Pliocene, rising sea levels transformed much of the South American lowlands into brackish lagoon habitat unsuitable for piping-guans. Thus, the present distribution is apparently a relict, and extinction of populations/displacement by the more resilient Penelope guans seems to have played as much or possibly more of a role in shaping the diversity of piping-guans of our time than emergence of new lineages (Grau et al. 2005).


* Black-fronted Piping-guan, Aburria jacutinga
* Wattled Piping-guan, Aburria aburri
* Red-throated Piping-guan, Aburria cujubi
* Trinidad Piping-guan, Aburria pipile
* Blue-throated Piping-guan, Aburria cumanensis
o Gray's Piping-guan, Aburria cumanensis grayi


* del Hoyo, Josep & Motis, Anna, updated chapter in Delacour, Jean & Amadon, Dean (2004): Curassows and Related Birds, Lynx Edicions in association with the American Museum of Natural History. ISBN 8487334644

* Grau, Erwin T.; Pereira, Sérgio Luiz; Silveira, Luís Fábio; Höfling, Elizabeth & Wanjtal, Anita (2005): Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of Neotropical piping guans (Aves: Galliformes): Pipile Bonaparte, 1856 is synonym of Aburria Reichenbach, 1853. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 35: 637-645. doi:doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.12.004 PDF fulltext

* Pereira, Sérgio Luiz; Baker, Allan J. & Wajntal, Anita (2002): Combined nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences resolve generic relationships within the Cracidae (Galliformes, Aves). Systematic Biology 51(6): 946-958. doi:10.1080/10635150290102519 PDF fulltext

* Remsen, J. V., Jr., C. D. Cadena, A. Jaramillo, M. Nores, J. F. Pacheco, M. B. Robbins, T. S. Schulenberg, F. G. Stiles, D. F. Stotz, and K. J. Zimmer. Version 21 October 2007. A classification of the bird species of South America. American Ornithologists' Union.

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