Bock, Walter J. Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:January 2021
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A large order of land birds, second in number of species only to the Passeriformes, that is found throughout the world except for the Australian region and is concentrated in tropical areas. The relationships of the suborder Galbulae to the other piciforms is strongly disputed, with some researchers placing the Galbulae with the Coraciiformes or in a separate order, the Galbuliformes. The evidence for retaining the Galbulae in the Piciformes as well as for shifting them to the Coraciiformes or elsewhere within the birds is inconclusive; here the Galbulae will be kept with the Piciformes, for which there appears to be somewhat better evidence. The overall affinities of the Piciformes may, in fact, be with other land birds such as the Coraciiformes and Passeriformes. See also: Coraciiformes; Passeriformes
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