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Carribean Flamingo Photos

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A wide variety of birds have been proposed as their closest relatives, on a wide variety of evidence. To reflect the uncertainty about this matter, flamingos are generally placed in their own order. Traditionally, the long-legged Ciconiiformes, probably a paraphyletic assemblage, have been considered the flamingos' closest relatives and the family was included in the order. Usually the ibises and spoonbills of the Threskiornithidae were considered their closest relatives within this order. Earlier genetic studies, such as those of Charles Sibley and colleagues, also supported this relationship. Relationships to the waterfowl were considered as well, especially as flamingos and waterfowl are parasitized by feather lice of the genus Anaticola, which are otherwise exclusively found on ducks and geese. Other scientists proposed flamingos as waders most closely related to the stilts and avocets, Recurvirostridae. The peculiar presbyornithids were used to argue for a close relationship between flamingos, waterfowl, and waders, but they are now known to be unequivocal waterfowl with a peculiarly derived morphology paralleling waders and flamingos. ~wiki~

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