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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: Neoaves
Ordo: Charadriiformes
Subordo: Charadrii

Familia: Scolopacidae
Genus: Actitis
Species: A. hypoleucos - A. macularia

Name

Actitis Illiger, 1811
References

Illiger, J.K.W. 1811. Prodromus systematis mammalium et avium additis terminis zoographicis utriusque classis, eorumque versione germanica. C. Salfield: Berolini. xviii + 302 pp. BHL Reference page. : 262

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Actitis is a small genus of waders, comprising just two very similar bird species:

* Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos, of Eurasia
* Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularia of North America

These are both small migratory waders, greyish brown on top and white underneath, with a distinctive stiff-winged flight low over the water. The plumages are very similar, apart from Spotted Sandpipers' distinctive breeding plumage, and suspected out-of-range vagrants must be carefully observed for identification to species.

Both species have short yellow or yellowish legs and a medium bill. These are not gregarious birds and are seldom seen in large flocks.

They nest on the ground, and their habitat is near fresh water. These birds forage on the ground or in water, picking up food by sight. They may also catch insects in flight. They eat insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates.

Actitis is part of the shank-tattler-phalarope clade and less closely related to the calidrid sandpipers[1]. Based on the degree of DNA sequence divergence and putative shank and phalarope fossils from around the Oligocene/Miocene boundary some 23-22 million years ago, presumably Actitis diverged from its closest relatives in the Late Oligocene; given the much higher diversity of the prehistoric members of the group in Eurasia it is likely that they originated there, possibly being isolated as the remains of the Turgai Sea dried up, which happened just around this time.[2]

The Late Pliocene fossil described as Actitis balcanica appears to be actually from some indeterminate charadriid.[3]

Footnotes

1. ^ Paton et al. (2003), Thomas et al. (2004)
2. ^ Mlíkovský (2002), Paton et al. (2003)
3. ^ Mlíkovský (2002)


References


* Mlíkovský, Jirí (2002): Cenozoic Birds of the World, Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press, Prague. ISBN 80-901105-3-8 PDF fulltext
* Paton, Tara A.; Baker, Allan J.; Groth, J.G. & Barrowclough, G.F. (2003): RAG-1 sequences resolve phylogenetic relationships within charadriiform birds. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 29(2): 268-278. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(03)00098-8 (HTML abstract)
* Thomas, Gavin H.; Wills, Matthew A. & Székely, Tamás (2004): A supertree approach to shorebird phylogeny. BMC Evol. Biol. 4: 28. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-4-28 PDF fulltext Supplementary Material

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