kids encyclopedia robot

Neognathae facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Gallus gallus female - Kaeng Krachan
Female red junglefowl (Gallus gallus)
Passer domesticus male (15)
House sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Neognaths (Neognathae) are birds within the subclass Neornithes of the class Aves. The Neognathae include virtually all living birds; exceptions being their sister taxon (Palaeognathae), which contains the tinamous and the flightless ratites.

There are nearly 10,000 species of neognaths. The earliest fossils are known from the very end of the Cretaceous but molecular clocks suggest that neognaths originated sometime in the first half of the Late Cretaceous about 90 million year ago. Since then, they have undergone adaptive radiation producing the diversity of form, function, and behavior that we see today. It includes the order Passeriformes (perching birds), the largest clade of land vertebrates, containing some 60% of living birds and being more than twice as speciose as rodents and about five times as speciose as Chiroptera (bats), which are the largest clades of mammals. There are also some very small orders, usually birds of very unclear relationships like the puzzling hoatzin.

The neognaths have fused metacarpals, an elongate third finger, and 13 or fewer vertebrae. They differ from the Palaeognathae in features like the structure of their jawbones. "Neognathae" means "new jaws", but it seems that the supposedly "more ancient" paleognath jaws are among the few apomorphic (more derived) features of the Palaeognaths, meaning that the respective jaw structure of these groups is not informative in terms of comparative evolution.


Neognathae cladogram of modern bird relationships based on Prum, R.O. et al. (2015) with some clade names after Yury, T. et al. (2013) and Kimball et al. 2013.



Galliformes (chickens and relatives) Red jungle fowl white background.png

Anseriformes (ducks and relatives) Duck-293474 white background.jpg


Strisores (hummingbirds and relatives) White-eared Hummingbird (Basilinna leucotis) white background.jpg


Musophagiformes (turacos)Red-crested Turaco RWD white background.jpg

Otidiformes (bustards)Eupodotis afraoides -Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, South Africa-8 white background.jpg

Cuculiformes (cuckoos)Common Cuckoo by Mike McKenzie white background.jpg


Columbiformes (pigeons) Columba livia in Japan white background.JPG

Mesitornithiformes (mesites)Subdesert Mesite Male white background.jpg

Pteroclidiformes (sandgrouse)Pin-tailed sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata) white background.jpg

Gruiformes (rails and cranes)Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis pratensis) (6852440498) white background.jpg



Phoenicopteriformes (flamingos)Flamingo1209 white background.jpg

Podicipediformes (grebes)Western Grebe white background.jpg

Charadriiformes (waders and relatives)Chroicocephalus ridibundus (summer) white background.jpg


Phaethontiformes (tropicbirds)Red-billed Tropicbird JCB white background.jpg

Eurypygiformes (sunbittern and kagu)Sunbittern RWD white background.jpg

Aequornithes (waterbirds)Chinstrap Penguin white background.jpgWeißstorch (Ciconia ciconia) white background.jpg


Opisthocomiformes (hoatzin)Hoatzin white background.jpg


Cathartiformes (New World vultures)Black Vulture RWD2013A white background.jpg

Accipitriformes (hawks and relatives)Maakotka (Aquila chrysaetos) by Jarkko Järvinen white background.jpg

Strigiformes (owls)Tyto alba -British Wildlife Centre, Surrey, England-8a (1) white background.jpg


Coliidae (mouse birds)


Leptosomatiformes (cuckoo roller)


Trogoniformes (trogons)Trogon surrucura brazil white background.jpg


Bucerotiformes (hornbills and relatives)Nordlig hornkorp white background.jpg

CoraciiformesHalcyon smyrnensis in India (8277355382) white background.jpg

PiciformesDendrocopos major -Durham, England -female-8 white background.jpg


Cariamiformes (seriemas)Seriema (Cariama cristata) white background.jpg


Falconiformes (falcons)Male Peregrine Falcon (7172188034) white background.jpg


Psittaciformes (parrots)Cockatiel Parakeet (Nymphicus hollandicus)9 white background.jpg

Passeriformes (perching birds and kin)Gorrion alfeizar Habana white background.jpg

kids search engine
Neognathae Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.