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Response to Comment on “Whole-genome analyses resolve early branches in the tree of life of modern birds”

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Science  25 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6255, pp. 1460
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab1578


Mitchell et al. argue that divergence-time estimates for our avian phylogeny were too young because of an “inappropriate” maximum age constraint for the most recent common ancestor of modern birds and that, as a result, most modern bird orders diverged before the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event 66 million years ago instead of after. However, their interpretations of the fossil record and timetrees are incorrect.

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