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Passerine
A passerine () is any bird of the order Passeriformes (; from Latin 'sparrow' and '-shaped'), which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds, passerines are distinguished from other orders of birds by the arrangement of their toes (three pointing forward and one back), which facilitates perching. With more than 140 families and some 6,500 identified species, Passeriformes is the largest clade of birds and among the most diverse clades of terrestrial vertebrates, representing 60% of birds.Ericson, P.G.P. et al. (2003Evolution, biogeography, and patterns of diversification in passerine birds ''J. Avian Biol'', 34:3–15.Selvatti, A.P. et al. (2015"A Paleogene origin for crown passerines and the diversification of the Oscines in the New World" ''Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution'', 88:1–15. Passerines are divided into three clades: Acanthisitti (New Zealand wrens), Tyranni (suboscines), and Passeri (oscines or songbirds). The passe ...
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Acanthisitti
The New Zealand wrens are a family (Acanthisittidae) of tiny passerines endemic to New Zealand. They were represented by seven Holocene species in four or five genera, although only two species in two genera survive today. They are understood to form a distinct lineage within the passerines, but authorities differ on their assignment to the oscines or suboscines (the two suborders that between them make up the Passeriformes). More recent studies suggest that they form a third, most ancient, suborder Acanthisitti and have no living close relatives at all. They are called "wrens" due to similarities in appearance and behaviour to the true wrens (Troglodytidae) but are not members of that family. New Zealand wrens are mostly insectivorous foragers of New Zealand's forests, with one species, the New Zealand rock wren, being restricted to alpine areas. Both the remaining species are poor fliers and four of the five extinct species are known or suspected to have been flightless. Along ...
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New Zealand Wren
The New Zealand wrens are a family (Acanthisittidae) of tiny passerines endemic to New Zealand. They were represented by seven Holocene species in four or five genera, although only two species in two genera survive today. They are understood to form a distinct lineage within the passerines, but authorities differ on their assignment to the oscines or suboscines (the two suborders that between them make up the Passeriformes). More recent studies suggest that they form a third, most ancient, suborder Acanthisitti and have no living close relatives at all. They are called "wrens" due to similarities in appearance and behaviour to the true wrens (Troglodytidae) but are not members of that family. New Zealand wrens are mostly insectivorous foragers of New Zealand's forests, with one species, the New Zealand rock wren, being restricted to alpine areas. Both the remaining species are poor fliers and four of the five extinct species are known or suspected to have been flightless. Along ...
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Bird
Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Aves (), characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton. Birds live worldwide and range in size from the bee hummingbird to the ostrich. There are about ten thousand living species, more than half of which are passerine, or "perching" birds. Birds have whose development varies according to species; the only known groups without wings are the extinct moa and elephant birds. Wings, which are modified forelimbs, gave birds the ability to fly, although further evolution has led to the loss of flight in some birds, including ratites, penguins, and diverse endemic island species. The digestive and respiratory systems of birds are also uniquely adapted for flight. Some bird species of aquatic environments, particularly seabirds and some waterbirds, have further evolved for swim ...
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Eupasseres
Eupasserines are passerines in the clade Eupasseres. The clade contains all passerines except the New Zealand wrens (Acanthisitti), to which they are sister.Selvatti, A.P. ''et al''. (2015A Paleogene origin for crown passerines and the diversification of the Oscines in the New World ''Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution'', 88:1-15. The origin of the word is the prefix 'eu-', meaning 'true' or 'genuine', and 'passeres', referring to passerines. So Eupasseres means 'true passerines', as an exception to the ancient lineage of Acanthisitti. Systematics They contain all the families of passerine but one, Acanthisittidae, and all the species except the 6 recognised New Zealand wrens. Source for cladogram: Suboscines (Tyranni) They are the suboscines, which have different syrinx structures than songbirds. They include the Old world suboscines and the American Sapayoa in infraorder Eurylamides, while all other suboscines, all exclusively in the New world, are found in the in ...
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Purple-crowned Fairywren
The purple-crowned fairywren (''Malurus coronatus'') is a species of bird in the Australasian wren family, Maluridae. It is the largest of the eleven species in the genus '' Malurus'' and is endemic to northern Australia. The species name is derived from the Latin word ''cǒrōna'' meaning "crown", owing to the distinctive purple circle of crown feathers sported by breeding males. Genetic evidence shows that the purple-crowned fairywren is most closely related to the superb fairywren and splendid fairywren. Purple-crowned fairywrens can be distinguished from other fairywrens in northern Australia by the presence of cheek patches (either black in males or reddish-chocolate in females) and the deep blue colour of their perky tails. Like other fairywrens, the purple-crowned fairywren is socially monogamous. However, unlike other species in the genus, it is not sexually promiscuous and shows low rates of extra-pair paternity. However, females with related males as partners will ma ...
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Blue Jay
The blue jay (''Cyanocitta cristata'') is a passerine bird in the family Corvidae, native to eastern North America. It lives in most of the eastern and central United States; some eastern populations may be migratory. Resident populations are also in Newfoundland, Canada; breeding populations are found across southern Canada. It breeds in both deciduous and coniferous forests, and is common in residential areas. Its coloration is predominantly blue, with a white chest and underparts, and a blue crest; it has a black, U-shaped collar around its neck and a black border behind the crest. Males and females are similar in size and plumage, and plumage does not vary throughout the year. Four subspecies have been recognized. The blue jay feeds mainly on seeds and nuts, such as acorns, which it may hide to eat later; soft fruits; arthropods; and occasionally small vertebrates. It typically gleans food from trees, shrubs, and the ground, and sometimes hawks insects from the air. Blue ...
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Tyranni
The Tyranni (suboscines) are a suborder of passerine birds that includes more than 1,000 species, the large majority of which are South American. It is named after the type genus ''Tyrannus''. These have a different anatomy of the syrinx musculature than the oscines (songbirds of the larger suborder Passeri), hence the common name of ''suboscines''. The available morphological, DNA sequence, and biogeographical data, as well as the (scant) fossil record, agree that these two major passerine suborders are evolutionarily distinct clades. Systematics The suborder Tyranni is divided into two infraorders: the Eurylaimides and the Tyrannides. The New Zealand wrens in the family Acanthisittidae are placed in a separate suborder Acanthisitti. The Eurylaimides contain the Old World suboscines – mainly distributed in tropical regions around the Indian Ocean – and a single American species, the sapayoa: * Philepittidae: asities * Eurylaimidae: typical broadbills * Calypto ...
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Shrike
Shrikes () are passerine birds of the family Laniidae. The family is composed of 34 species in four genera. The family name, and that of the largest genus, '' Lanius'', is derived from the Latin word for "butcher", and some shrikes are also known as butcherbirds because of their feeding habits. The common English name shrike is from Old English , alluding to the shrike's shriek-like call. Distribution, migration, and habitat Most shrike species have a Eurasian and African distribution, with just two breeding in North America (the loggerhead and northern shrikes). No members of this family occur in South America or Australia, although one species reaches New Guinea. The shrikes vary in the extent of their ranges, with some species, such as the great grey shrike, ranging across the Northern Hemisphere; to the Newton's fiscal, which is restricted to the island of São Tomé. They inhabit open habitats, especially steppe and savannah. A few species of shrikes are forest dweller ...
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Palestine Sunbird
The Palestine sunbird (''Cinnyris osea'') is a small passerine bird of the sunbird family, Nectariniidae. Found in parts of the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, it is also known as the orange-tufted sunbird, a name also used for the similar '' Cinnyris bouvieri'', found further south in Africa. In 2015, the Palestinian Authority adopted the species as a national bird. The specific name ''osea'' is derived from Ancient Greek ὁσια (''hosia'', "holy"). Description The Palestine sunbird is 8 to 12 cm long with a wingspan of 14 to 16 cm. Males have an average weight of 7.6 g and females weigh around 6.8 g. The bill is fairly long, black and curves downwards. The plumage of breeding males is mostly dark but appears glossy blue or green in the light. There are orange tufts at the sides of the breast which are hard to see except at close range. Females and juveniles are grey-brown above with pale underparts. Non-breeding males are similar but may retain som ...
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Great Tit
The great tit (''Parus major'') is a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. It is a widespread and common species throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and east across the Palearctic to the Amur River, south to parts of North Africa where it is generally resident in any sort of woodland; most great tits do not migrate except in extremely harsh winters. Until 2005 this species was lumped with numerous other subspecies. DNA studies have shown these other subspecies to be distinct from the great tit and these have now been separated as two distinct species, the cinereous tit (''Parus cinereus'') of southern Asia, and the Japanese tit (''Parus minor'') of East Asia. The great tit remains the most widespread species in the genus ''Parus''. The great tit is a distinctive bird with a black head and neck, prominent white cheeks, olive upperparts and yellow underparts, with some variation amongst the numerous subspecies. It is predominantly insectivorous in the summe ...
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Vertebrate
Vertebrates () comprise all animal taxa within the subphylum Vertebrata () ( chordates with backbones), including all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Vertebrates represent the overwhelming majority of the phylum Chordata, with currently about 69,963 species described. Vertebrates comprise such groups as the following: * jawless fish, which include hagfish and lampreys * jawed vertebrates, which include: ** cartilaginous fish (sharks, rays, and ratfish) ** bony vertebrates, which include: *** ray-fins (the majority of living bony fish) *** lobe-fins, which include: **** coelacanths and lungfish **** tetrapods (limbed vertebrates) Extant vertebrates range in size from the frog species ''Paedophryne amauensis'', at as little as , to the blue whale, at up to . Vertebrates make up less than five percent of all described animal species; the rest are invertebrates, which lack vertebral columns. The vertebrates traditionally include the hagfish, which do not hav ...
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Brood Parasite
Brood parasites are animals that rely on others to raise their young. The strategy appears among birds, insects and fish. The brood parasite manipulates a host, either of the same or of another species, to raise its young as if it were its own, usually using egg mimicry, with eggs that resemble the host's. The evolutionary strategy relieves the parasitic parents from the investment of rearing young. This benefit comes at the cost of provoking an evolutionary arms race between parasite and host as they coevolve: many hosts have developed strong defenses against brood parasitism, such as recognizing and ejecting parasitic eggs, or abandoning parasitized nests and starting over. It is less obvious why most hosts do care for parasite nestlings, given that for example cuckoo chicks differ markedly from host chicks in size and appearance. One explanation, the mafia hypothesis, proposes that parasitic adults retaliate by destroying host nests where rejection has occurred; th ...
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