¿SON LOS COPEICILLOS NEOTROPICALES (CYANERPES SPP.) UN CASO CURIOSO DE MORFOLOGÍA CONVERGENTE CON LOS PÁJAROS SOL AFRICANOS (NECTARINIIDAE) O UN ESLABÓN RELICTO GONDWANIANO ENTRE ÉSTOS Y LOS COLIBRÍES (TROCHILIDAE)?

Gedio Marín Espinoza

Resumen


La coincidencia entre los pájaros sol (Nectariniidae) africanos con los copeicillos (Thraupidae) y colibríes (Trochilidae) del Neotrópico, particularmente usando el vuelo cernido para libar el néctar y atrapar insectos, crea dudas razonables de si se trata de un simple caso de equivalentes ecológicos por evolución convergente (i.e., Trochilidae vs. Nectariniidae) o un parentesco en propiedad entre un grupo nectarívoro relicto (Cyanerpes spp.) y los nectarínidos. Sobre la base de dos hallazgos inusitados, se replantean los conflictivos problemas en la sistemática entre especies de aves, magnificados por la carencia de resolución en los análisis moleculares, el imperfecto muestreo taxonómico, los desaciertos acerca de la extensión de la morfohomoplasia y la escasez de fósiles con caracteres plesiomórficos bien preservados. El primer hallazgo tiene que ver con una nueva especie de cestodo, Staphylepis ambilateris Mariaux & Vaucher 1991, descubierta en especies de aves nectarínidas africanas, y su sorprendente similitud morfoanatómica con la especie S. inhamata Rietschel 1934, obtenida de colibríes sudamericanos. El segundo, con el descubrimiento de fósiles de colibríes en el continente europeo, que permiten inferir que los Trochilidae tuvieron su origen en el Viejo Mundo en los inicios del período Terciario. El resurgimiento de la ecomorfología y la ecofilogenética pudiera terminar de esclarecer, parcialmente, los genuinos parentescos entre linajes aviares con historias filogeográficas enigmáticas.

Palabras clave


colibríes; Cyanerpes spp.; ecofilogenética; ecomorfología; evolución convergente; pájaros sol

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Referencias


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24039/rtb2017151138

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