The anatomy of the cavum tympanicum (middle ear region) and os quadratum (quadrate) is described for the Falconiformes. Sixty specimens representing all four recognized families are included. Pathways of nerves and blood vessels and their foramina are described as are other important anatomical characters. It is difficult to conclude anything about the naturalness of the Falconiformes based on cavum tympanicum characters. More work at both morphological and molecular levels is needed to fully understand relationships within the Falconiformes and indeed, where to place the order within birds. Nevertheless, an understanding of the anatomy of middle ear structures will be important to taxonomists who are looking for characters on which to test their hypotheses of relationships.
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