Chickens are closely related to dinosaurs, and other insights from the new bird family tree

Flamingos and doves are more closely related than they look, a new genetic analysis of birds shows. That’s not all: chickens are close relations of dinosaurs, and genetic patterns in the brains of birds that learn new calls show remarkable similarities to humans.

These findings stem from a project that sequenced genes from 48 bird species and then used several months of supercomputing time to analyze relationships. This week, eight papers appear in Science from the effort, which included more than 200 people from 80 labs. More than 20 papers will also be published in separate journals.

“an impressive effort”“This is an impressive effort that provides important support for a number of previous assertions that have lacked this extensive…

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