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RE: Rampant speculation on mousebirds and parrots



Christopher Taylor wrote:

I was just thinking recently about the close phylogenetic relationship
which has been suggested at times between Coliidae (mousebirds) and
Psittaciformes (parrots). These two superficially don't look much like each
other, but nor does either look more like anything else. Anyway, it occurred
to me that one feature that members of both these orders have in common is
that they both use the beak a lot in moving about, to hold on to and swing
off things - a 'third leg', it's been referred to as.
So my question is - can anyone think of any other birds that show this
marked tendency towards using the beak in this way? Or is this a feature of
these two groups only?

Juvenile hoatzins also use their beaks to move about. Although young hoatzins are famous for their ability to climb by using all four limbs (and have wing-claws for this purpose), they also use their beak as a FIFTH limb to help them clamber up trees.



Tim