Gruimorphae[1] is a clade of birds that contains the orders Charadriiformes (plovers, gulls, and allies) and Gruiformes (cranes and rails) identified in 2014 by genome analysis.[2] This grouping has had historical support,[3][4][5] as various charadriiform families such as the families Pedionomidae and Turnicidae were classified as gruiforms. The relationship between these birds is due similar anatomical and behavioral characteristics. A morphological study went further to suggest that the gruiforms might be paraphyletic in respect to the shorebirds, with the rails being closely related to the buttonquails.[6][7]

Temporal range: Late Cretaceous - Holocene, 75–0 Ma
Charadrius-melodus-004 edit
Piping plover (Charadrius melodus)
Water rail (Rallus aquaticus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Infraclass: Neognathae
Clade: Neoaves
Clade: Passerea
Clade: Gruae
Clade: Gruimorphae
Bonaparte, 1854


  1. ^ "TiF Checklist: GRUAE I: Opisthocomiformes & Gruiformes". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  2. ^ Jarvis, E.D.; et al. (2014). "Whole-genome analyses resolve early branches in the tree of life of modern birds". Science. 346 (6215): 1320–1331. doi:10.1126/science.1253451. PMC 4405904. PMID 25504713.
  3. ^ Huxley T.H. On the classification of birds; and on the taxonomic value of the modifications of certain of the cranial bones observable in that class. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1867;1867:415–472.
  4. ^ Lowe P.R. An anatomical review of the ‘waders’ (Telmatomorphæ), with special reference to the families, subfamilies, and genera within the suborders Limicolæ, Grui-Limicolæ and Lari-Limicolæ. Ibis. 1931b; 73: 712–771
  5. ^ Lowe P.R. On the relations of the Gruimorphæ to the Charadriimorphæ and Rallimorphæ, with special reference to the taxonomic position of Rostratulidæ, Jacanidæ, and Burhinidæ. Ibis. 1931a; 73: 491–534
  6. ^ LIVEZEY, BRADLEY C.; ZUSI, RICHARD L. (2007). "Higher-order phylogeny of modern birds (Theropoda, Aves: Neornithes) based on comparative anatomy. II. Analysis and discussion". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 149 (1): 1–95. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2006.00293.x. PMC 2517308. PMID 18784798.
  7. ^ "Neognathia". Retrieved 10 April 2018.

Gruae is a clade of birds that contains the order Opisthocomiformes (hoatzin) and Gruimorphae (shorebirds and rails) identified in 2014 by genome analysis. Previous studies have placed the Hoatzin in different parts of the bird family tree; however, despite its unusual and primitive morphology, genetic studies have shown the hoatzin is not as primitive or as ancient as once thought, and that it could be a very derived bird that reverted to or retains some plesiomorphic traits.According to Suh et al. (2016), one of the problems with the conclusions about this novel clade is that independent studies (like Jarvis et al. 2014 and Prum et al. 2015) found very dissimilar phylogenetic relationships (like Inopinaves) using the same probabilistic support, such bootstrap scores and Bayesian posterior probabilities.


The Gruiformes are an order containing a considerable number of living and extinct bird families, with a widespread geographical diversity. Gruiform means "crane-like".

Traditionally, a number of wading and terrestrial bird families that did not seem to belong to any other order were classified together as Gruiformes. These include 14 species of large cranes, about 145 species of smaller crakes and rails, as well as a variety of families comprising one to three species, such as the Heliornithidae, the limpkin, or the trumpeters.

Other birds have been placed in this order more out of necessity to place them somewhere; this has caused the expanded Gruiformes to lack distinctive apomorphies. Recent studies indicate that these "odd Gruiformes" are if at all only loosely related to the cranes, rails, and relatives ("core Gruiformes").


Passerea is a clade of neoavian birds that was proposed by Jarvis et al. (2014). Their genomic analyis recovered two major clades within Neoaves, Passerea and Columbea, and concluded that both clades appear to have many ecologically driven convergent traits.

According to Jarvis (2014), these convergences include the footpropelled diving trait of grebes in Columbea with loons and cormorants in Passerea; the wading-feeding trait of flamingos in Columbea with ibises and egrets in Passerea; and pigeons and sandgrouse in Columbea with shorebirds (killdeer) in Passerea. For Jarvis (2014), these long-known trait and morphological alliances suggest that some of the traditional nongenomic trait classifications are based on polyphyletic assemblages.

Passerea was not recovered in other studies.

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