Let's get more technical!
There are several off-shoots of birds:
- 1 Archaeopteryx
- 2 Confuciusornithidae
- 3 Enantiornithes
- 4 Euornithes
- 4.1 Patagopteryx
- 4.2 Hesperonithiformes
- 4.3 Ichthyornithiformes
- 4.4 Neornithes
- 4.4.1 Palaeognathae
- 4.4.2 Neognathae
- 126.96.36.199 Galloanserae
- 188.8.131.52 Neoaves
- 5 Pics of the birds
(AR-kee-OP-tor-icks) - the first known bird, probably the most primitive bird and probably more related to dinoaurs.
(kun-FYU-shus-orn-ith-ih-day) - small, primitive birds.
(uh-NAN-tee-OR-nuh-theez) - a group of small, Cretaceous avialians (modern birds and their relatives).
(ew-ORN-ih-theez) - true birds.
(pat-uh-GOP-tur-icks) - an early, flightless bird.
(heh-spuh-ROR-nuh-ith-ih-FOR-mez [something like that]) …
There are two types of birds:
- 1) Non-passerines: any bird from loons to woodpeckers and ostriches to kingfishers are non-passerines.
- 2) Passerines: any bird from crows to sparrows and orioles to finches.
Basically, if you read a field guide, usually they're in what we call taxonomic order (basically, the birds' evolutionary relationships to other birds). Depending on what field guide you're looking at:
- Non-passerines: they usually start with the loons (one of the oldest Northern Hemisphere families of birds, they have fossils from possibly the Late Cretaceous, 99.6-65.5 million years ago) and woodpeckers (fossils are from the Late Oligocene, 25 million years ago. Their evolutionary history isn't well-documented)
- And as for the passerines, it us…