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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 16:04:51 +1100
From: David Westcott <David.Westcott@tfrc.csiro.au>
To: John Bois <jbois@umd5.umd.edu>

Dear John,

just a comment for your discussion group on cassowary dimorphism.  There
are very few published data on cassowary morphometrics.  Females are
larger.  My observations of birds in the wild leave me with the impression
that brightness of the head and neck is more a function of how excited the
bird is.  I certainly would never consider brightness as a indicator of
sex, I'm sure others would disagree.  Rainforest aboriginals do not sex
birds on brightness.

That 2nd digit is large, nasty, and decidely impressive on both males and
females.  I don't have enough measurements on wild birds to detect whether
there are any differences in the length of the toe relative to tarsus or
any other body measurements males and females.

I can assure you that if there are differences they makes precious little
difference when you're on the receiving end


                      David Westcott
             CRC- Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management
        CSIRO-Tropical Forest Research Centre
                          PO Box 780
                     Atherton, Q, 4883
             Area Codes 07or +61 7 Phone: 40 918 800 Fax: 40 913 245