To elucidate the relationships and spatial range evolution across the world of the bird genus Turdus (Aves), we produced a large genomic dataset comprising ca 2 million nucleotides for ca 100 samples representing 53 species, including over 2000 loci. We estimated time-calibrated maximum-likelihood and multispecies coalescent phylogenies and carried out biogeographic analyses. Our results indicate that there have been considerably fewer trans-oceanic dispersals within the genus Turdus than previously suggested, such that the Palaearctic clade did not originate in America and the African clade was not involved in the colonization of the Americas. Instead, our findings suggest that dispersal from the Western Palaearctic via the Antilles to the Neotropics might have occurred in a single event, giving rise to the rich Neotropical diversity of Turdus observed today, with no reverse dispersals to the Palaearctic or Africa. Our large multilocus dataset, combined with dense species-level sampling and analysed under probabilistic methods, brings important insights into historical biogeography and systematics, even in a scenario of fast and spatially complex diversification.
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