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Re: 100% goose-free responses (longish and eggy, though)



The majority of megapodes are tropical forest-dwelling/nesting
critters...with exceptions like the Aussie Malleefowl and certain island
dwelling species which nest near volcanic vents. Nor are they restricted
Australia - they're found in New Guinea, parts of Indonesia, Nicobar I,
some of the Phillippines and throughout the South Pacific all the way out
to Tonga.

While some megapodes have the luxury of predator-free island homes (to the
point that some provide no nest attention whatsoever), others have to
contend with a host of potential egg-thieves of the eutherian, marsupial
and reptilian variety hence the aggressive "missile defence" of some
species. In Australia, megapodes seem to have handled the arrival of
eutherian predators reasonably well, the only (known) loss being the giant
Progura which went with the rest of the megafauna.

Hmmm...biogeographically megapodes seem to be excluded from areas with a
high diversity of large phasianids which occupy similar ecological
niches... competetive exclusion perhaps?

I can imagine those shotgun-toting pheasants already..."Get off me land yer
mound-building freaks!"

Cheerio
Brian Choo


>>The nests of many species of megapodes, in addition, are huge mounds that
>>are almost impossible to ignore in the right kind of habitat.  This
>>includes the three Australian species, which co-exist with nest
>>predators.
>
>What do you mean by "coexist"?  I imagine bunnies and mice sipping tea
>under colorful toadstools.  And Mrs. Megapode comes up to Mr. Renard and
>invites him for a hand of Canasta.  Since non co-existence is a broad
>assumption of my hypothesis, it needs to be specifically rebutted.  Do
>megapodes only exist in Australia because Australian predators are nice,
>because they're stupid, because they're too well fed, because they are
>conservationists, because they don't like eggs?  Or is it because
>Megapodes nest in incredibly dry areas, nest in low predator density,
>etc,?  What, exactly, are you arguing?