The suborder Lari is the part of the order Charadriiformes which includes the gulls, terns, skuas and skimmers, with the waders and snipes making up the rest of the order. Following recent research, the auks are now placed into the Lari too; the Glareolidae might constitute a distinct suborder. Sometimes, the buttonquails are also placed here, but the molecular data and fossil record rather suggests them be a quite basal offshoot along with the snipe-like and aberrant waders.(Paton et al., 2003; Thomas et al., 2004; Paton & Baker, 2006).
The larids are generally larger species which take fish from the sea. Several gulls and skuas will also take food items from beaches, or rob smaller species, and some have become adapted to inland environments.
* Paton, Tara A. & Baker, Allan J. (2006): Sequences from 14 mitochondrial genes provide a well-supported phylogeny of the Charadriiform birds congruent with the nuclear RAG-1 tree. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 39(3): 657–667. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.01.011 (HTML abstract)
* Paton, T. A.; Baker, A. J.; Groth, J. G. & Barrowclough, G. F. (2003): RAG-1 sequences resolve phylogenetic relationships within charadriiform birds. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 29: 268-278. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(03)00098-8 (HTML abstract)
* Thomas, Gavin H.; Wills, Matthew A. & Székely, Tamás (2004): A supertree approach to shorebird phylogeny. BMC Evol. Biol. 4: 28. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-4-28 PDF fulltext Supplementary Material
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