Lappet Faced Vulture vs. Secretary Bird
Extinct Animals of the Cambrian to the Cretaceous!
I love extinct animals, especially lesser-known and non-dinosaur ones. So here are some critters from the Paleozoic through the Mesozoic. Don’t take the period designations too literally, it’s more of a “pretty much around this time” thing, since I couldn’t fit all of them exactly where they should be, scientifically. I’d love to do a sister-image to this with the Cenozoic era!
Here’s a list of the creatures featured!
Does the large bill of the hornbills is a hindrance in their visual field?
Well, to a large extent, yes, but it also has its advantages related to precision-grasping and sunshades.
Interspecific comparisons of the topography of avian visual fields have indicated that the extent and position of the frontal binocular field is related to the degree to which vision is employed to control the position of the bill or feet when they are used to take food items.
A study on visual field topography in Tockus leucomelas (Bucerotidae), the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, has shown that bill indeed intrudes into the binocular field. This intrusion of the bill restricts the width of the binocular field but allows the birds to view their own bill tips. It is suggested that this is associated with the precision-grasping feeding technique of hornbills.
When feeding, hornbills employ ‘precision-grasping’. The bill is used as a pair of forceps, grasping an item between the tips and then tossing it back into the throat or further back into the mouth. Items are often manipulated in the bill tips.
Interspecific comparison shows that eye size and the width of the blind area above the head are significantly correlated. The limit of the upper visual field in hornbills is viewed through the long lash-like feathers of the upper lids and these appear to be used as a sunshade mechanism.
Passerida phylogeny from Tet Zoo article on leaf warblers. More complex versions to appear in coming-soon articles…
Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae)- San Mateo County, CA
Despite how slow moving Rubber Boas tend to be, it was difficult to photograph the flicking of this baby snake’s tongue.
Red-legged Seriema - Cariama cristata
It is said that the Red-legged Seriema, Cariama cristata, and its relative Black-legged Seriema (Chunga burmeisteri), both included in the poorly known Cariamidae Family, are the closest living relatives of giant predatory Cenozoic birds. However, despite their large size, loud vocalizations, and overall conspicuousness, relatively little has been published on this family, which is surprising considering how common they are in many areas of South America.
Cariama cristata is known for eating a large range of small animals, and is famous for being on of the few species that will eat venomous coral snakes. These birds are monogamous and territorial.
The Red-legged Seriema occurs in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and is often associated with open, seasonally inundated conditions such as mesic savanna or wetland periphery.
Other common names: Chuna Patas Rojas, Chuña Patas Rojas.
Photo credit: ©Peter Schoen | Parque Nacional Serra da Canastra, Minas Gerais, Brazil (2010)
"Whatcha thinkin’ about?"
"Oh idk, Draugr stuff…"
My observation on the Pluto fuss
What is this?!