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Re: T.Rex Feather Skepticism

Good point; though altriciality is the ancestral condition for passeriform birds. The more useful question would be whether passerine birds nesting on the ground tend to become more precocial than those that nest in trees. There is variation within passeriform altriciality, after all.

There have been several ground-nesting pigeon lineages, but most nest in removed locations (several are/were island forms). As for passerines, the vast majority still nest on elevated locations, I am pretty certain, though there are some very significant exceptions (such as the larks already mentioned).

Overall, phylogenetic constraints have to be taken into account, but still very helpful and informative. Thanks for the post.

--Mike Habib

On Thursday, September 15, 2005, at 02:29 PM, Ronald Orenstein wrote:

At 11:35 PM 9/14/2005, T. Michael Keesey wrote:
are any ground birds altricial?

All of the Passeriformes are altricial, and many nest on the ground, including birds, including most of the larks that are highly terrestrial. In fact, with Passeriformes outnumbering all other birds put together, I would suspect that the number of ground-nesting birds with altricial young is quite high.

There are also ground-living woodpeckers, pigeons, and others besides those mentioned, including some that nest there (or at least on ledges or in crevices).

Ronald Orenstein 1825 Shady Creek Court Mississauga, ON L5L 3W2 Canada 905-820-7886 905-569-0116 fax ron.orenstein@rogers.com