are alligators related to birds

Ive been looking at the tree of life lately, and I see that both birds and crocodiles share a common ancestor about 240 million years ago. If I understand this correctly, since they descended from this common ancestor, they are both considered archosaurs? In much the same way that both hominids and cats are mammals, as they share a common ancestor?

So basically, if you envision evolutionary lineages as a tree, it means a species is all that its ancestors were (i.e. a twig is part of the larger branch it is on)? Humans are, for instance, still apes, mammals, animals, tetrapods, vertebrates and so on. So to sum it up, you cannot ever outgrow your ancestry? It would then be correct to say that all birds are dinosaurs, and all dinosaurs are archosaurs?

Would that make birds the closest living relatives to crocodiles? And, of course, since birds are still considered dinosaurs, they are naturally the closest relatives to the extinct dinosaurs.

However, the mystery grew when he looked at the HOX genes involved in neck and lower-back development. The genes themselves were expressed in nearly the same domains in alligators and birds, despite the latter species’ drastically different developmental outcomes. Additionally, there seems to be a strong similarity between alligators and birds’ HOX genes.

Abzhanov’s search is now taking him farther along the pathway of how HOX genes function and deeper into the genomes of alligators and birds. Because the transcription factors that HOX genes produce regulate the activity of numerous other genes, they are referred to as master genes. According to Abzhanov, distinct responses to those transcription factors in other genes account for the differences between the bodies of alligators and birds.

Similar inquiries concerning the lumbar region, or lower back, were made by Abzhanov. The lumbar vertebrae of alligators are also ancestrally derived, with short ribs and limited flexibility. Like some other mammals, including humans, the backbones of birds lose their ribs as they get closer to the waist, allowing for flexibility. Although the expression and function of HOX genes in birds were well understood, Abzhanov stated that the same could not be said for most alligators.

He started by examining the HOX genes in groups four and five, which regulate the development of the neck in mouse and chick embryos. Because the cervical ribs in alligators are similar to those in the chest and have very little flexibility, alligators must rotate their entire body in order to move their heads. This is thought to be a trait shared by all land vertebrates, including archosaurs.

The added complexity is not entirely unexpected, Abzhanov said. Because HOX genes regulate a variety of downstream genes, altering a HOX gene’s function would result in a variety of changes, not all of which would be desirable. Evolutionarily speaking, it makes more sense to modify HOX transcription factors’ sensitivity to downstream genes one gene at a time.

Thus, if you picture evolutionary lineages as a tree, it basically means that a species is all of its ancestors’ e. For example, humans are still classified as apes, mammals, animals, tetrapods, vertebrates, and so on. A twig is a part of the larger branch it is on. To summarize, is it true that you can never outgrow your ancestry? If so, is it accurate to state that all dinosaurs are archosaurs and all birds are dinosaurs?

Given that birds are still classified as dinosaurs and that they are, therefore, the closest living relatives of the extinct dinosaurs, would that make birds the closest living relatives of crocodiles?

Recently, I have been studying the tree of life, and I have discovered that 240 million years ago, birds and crocodiles had a common ancestor. If my comprehension is accurate, they are both regarded as archosaurs because they shared a common ancestor, much like hominids and cats are considered mammals because of their shared ancestor.


Are alligators more closely related to birds?

It may seem hard to find two animals more different than a hummingbird and an crocodile But as strange as it may be, birds and crocodilians (the group containing alligators, crocodiles and gharials) are each other’s closest relatives.

Is crocodile related to a bird?

Crocodiles are the closest living relatives of the birds, sharing a common ancestor that lived around 240 million years ago and also gave rise to the dinosaurs.

What is the closest relative to the alligator?

Alligators and their relatives are the last of the living reptiles that were closely related to dinosaurs, and their closest modern kin are birds. There is only one other alligator species, the Chinese alligator. Alligators and crocodiles are related.

What type of relationship do alligators and birds have?

Indeed, a facultative mutualistic nest protector relationship is known to exist between long-legged wading birds and the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).