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FLYING OVER WATER, OR NOT
On the dispersal of volant birds, Nick P wrote...
> Yeah. Some species are particularly weird that way. The Wrentit
> (_Chamaea fasciata_), for instance, is the only North American babbler
> (timaliid), and its ancestors must therefore have come over the Bering
> Land Bridge at some point. However, they are not now found anywhere
> north of Oregon, since they apparently will not cross the Columbia
There is a cool article on this issue by Jared Diamond, entitled
'Flightlessness and fear of flying in vertebrates'. Appeared in _Nature_
or _Science_ some time around 1980 - do not have the ref to hand.
Discusses island endemics as well as interesting ranges of volant birds
that are delimited by water bodies, some of them not very substantial.
Among such birds are various S. American suboscines (including
furnariids I think), some primitive galliforms and a whole list of
others. It seems that these birds really do not like flying across water
and will not do so, even when suitable habitat is available only a few
hundred m away.
Thanks to Fred Ruhe for the info on psilopterid etc wings. I forgot to
mention that _Ameghinornis_ (again, if it a phorusrhacoid) is based on
forelimb material (a humerus).
Our dept here at UOP closes in 25 mins (that cassowary MS will have
to be submitted in full next year.....), so this is me signing off for xmas.
Best wishes to all and maybe see you in the new year.
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