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Grey Parrot Photos

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It is now generally assumed that the Psittaciformes, or their common ancestors with a number of related bird orders, were present somewhere in the world around the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event (K-Pg extinction), some 65 mya (million years ago). If so, they probably had not evolved their morphological autapomorphies yet, but were generalised arboreal birds, roughly similar (though not necessarily closely related) to today's potoos or frogmouths (see also Palaeopsittacus below). Though these birds (Cypselomorphae) are a phylogenetically challenging group, they seem at least closer to the parrot ancestors than for example the modern aquatic birds (Aequornithes). The present-day combined evidence is widely in support of the hypothesis of Psittaciformes being "near passerines"; i.e. they almost certainly belong to the radiation of mostly land-living birds that emerged in close procimity to the K-Pg extinction. They have been variously allied to to groups such as falcons, songbirds, trogons, woodpeckers, as well as "Coraciiformes", hawks and owls, and the puzzling mousebirds. This seems to be by and large correct. Other proposed relationships, such as to pigeons, are considered more spurious today. ~wiki~

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