Temporary Page


Gannets and Boobies

Joseph W. Brown
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
taxon links [up-->]Sula granti [up-->]Sula sula [up-->]Morus serrator [up-->]Morus capensis [up-->]Sula variegata [up-->]Sula dactylatra [up-->]Sula leucogaster [up-->]Morus bassanus [up-->]Papasula abbotti [up-->]Sula nebouxii [down<--]Pelecaniformes Interpreting the tree
close box

This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

example of a tree diagram

You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.

For more information on ToL tree formatting, please see Interpreting the Tree or Classification. To learn more about phylogenetic trees, please visit our Phylogenetic Biology pages.

close box
A tree based on mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence data (Friesen and Anderson, 1997; Friesen et al., 2002).
Containing group: Pelecaniformes

Other Names for Sulidae


Friesen, V. L., and D. J. Anderson. 1997. Phylogeny and evolution of the Sulidae (Aves: Pelecaniformes): a test of alternative modes of speciation. Molecular Phylogentics and Evolution 7: 252-260.

Friesen, V. L., D. J. Anderson, T. E. Steeves, H. Jones, and E. A. Schreiber. 2002. Molecular support for the species status of the Nazca Booby (Sula granti). Auk 119: 820-826.

Nelson, J. B. 1978. The Sulidae: Gannets and Boobies. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Pitman, R. L., and J. R. Jehl. 1998. Geographic variation and reassessment of species limits in the "Masked" Boobies of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Wilson Society Bulletin 110: 155-170.

Steeves, T. E., D. J. Anderson, and V. L. Friesen. 2005a. A role for nonphysical barriers to gene flow in the diversification of a highly vagile seabird, the masked booby (Sula dactylatra). Molecular Ecology 14: 3877-3887.

Steeves, T. E., D. J. Anderson, and V. L. Friesen. 2005b. The Isthmus of Panama: a major physical barrier to gene flow in a highly mobile pantropical seabird. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 18: 1000-1008.

Steeves, T. E., D. J. Anderson, H. McNally, M. H. Kim, and V. L. Friesen. 2003. Phylogeography of Sula: the role of physical barriers to gene flow in the diversification of tropical seabirds. Journal of Avian Biology 34: 217-223.

van Tets, G. F., Meredith, C. W., Fullager, P. J. and Davidson, P. M. 1988. Osteological differences between Sula and Morus, and a description of an extinct new species of Sula from Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands, Tasman Sea. Notornis 35:35-37.

Information on the Internet

Title Illustrations
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Morus bassanus
Location Bonaventure Island, Quebec, Canada
Comments Northern Gannets interacting in large colony
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Copyright © Greg and Marybeth Dimijian
Scientific Name Sula nebouxii
Location Isabela Island, Galapagos / Ecuador
Comments Blue-footed Booby Sula nebouxii
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Copyright © Selen Ediger
About This Page

Joseph W. Brown
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Joseph W. Brown at

Page: Tree of Life Sulidae. Gannets and Boobies. Authored by Joseph W. Brown. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Brown, Joseph W. 2008. Sulidae. Gannets and Boobies. Version 27 June 2008 (temporary). http://tolweb.org/Sulidae/26335/2008.06.27 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

edit this page
close box

This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

close box


Page Content

articles & notes



Explore Other Groups

random page

  go to the Tree of Life home page