Lecture 11- Introduction to Birds Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 11- Introduction to Birds Deck (23):
1

How old were the fossil feathers discovered in Koonwarra, Vic?

11O MYA

2

How old were the penguins & dromornithid tracks?

30 MYA
-first recognizable fossils in Australia

3

How old were the extensive fossils of wetland birds in Central Australia?

-20 MYA
-also dicovered rare pigeons, eagles, rails, megapode & passerines

4

What was the Dromornis stironi aka Giant Demon Duck of Doom?

-'Mihirung paringmal’ (giant bird)
• central Australia - 15 mya
• Flightless, weight 500+ kg, 3m tall
• related to geese
-not clear what he ate, probably not carnivorous

5

How many species of birds are there in Australia and what is their size range?

-800
-range from 8g Weebill to 45kg Emu

6

What are the four broad categories of birds in Australia?

1. Long-established non-passerines of Gondwanan origin (emus, cassowaries, parrots)

2. Australasian passerines descended from Corvid family (fairy-wrens, magpies, honeyeaters)

3. Recent colonists from Eurasia (swallows, larks, cisticolas, some raptors)

4. Introduced species (starling, blackbird, Indian mynah)

7

What evolution is in play in the similarity of Australian birds to the Northern hemisphere?

-• however, these examples illustrate convergent evolution, not relatedness • most Aust spp. are corvids,descended from ancestors of the crow family

8

What does corvid mean?

-descended from the ancestors of the crow family

9

What is convergent evolution?

-Evolution of similar features in unrelated species
-• DNA studies allow origin and evolution to be unravelled
• prove that Aust birds not derived from northern hemisphere stock - more closely related to each other than to N.H. look-alikes

10

What are the four mating strategies of birds?

• monogamy (M+F)
• polyandry (FMMM) =more males
• polygamy (MFFF) =more females
• {promiscuity (FFMM)?}=lot of males with lot of females

11

What are the five parental care types in birds?

• biparental = both parents stay

• paternal or maternal=only one parent stays

• none

• mound-builders= build mounts of rotting vegetation that warms the eggs

• cooperative= in groups

12

What are the surveying techniques for birds?

-census, monitoring
-capture and ringing
-DNA studies

13

What is the Atlas of Australian birds project?

Aim: - collect info on distribution and abundance of Australian birds - involve community
-commenced in 1998
-voluntary based
-Some conclusions:
- some supposedly migratory species are not - winter movement of birds from SW & Tasmania to NT

14

What is the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme?

-commenced 1953
-• Coordinates all banding – 600 banders, 80-100k birds/yr – central database – train & license banders
• Banding permits – A class project leader – R class experienced bander – C class trainee

15

What do we learn from capture and ringing of birds?

- lifespan, movements, observations of behaviour
-international movements

16

How does life span of birds vary?

-a lot
-1-48 years

17

What are the Wader birds an their characteristics?

-Wader birds(the ones near water) - migrating species (~3 million individuals)
-March - gather on Australian shores, then fly north
-10-15,000 kilometers, lose 50% body mass

18

What do the studies using colour-rings tell us about birds?

• dispersal • pair formation • breeding success • interactions
-can tell individuals apart even from a distance do not need to disrupt them as with normal banding to read the number

19

What is the myswan.org?

-example of citizen science
-people report sightings of swans

20

What do the DNA studies tell us about birds?

• DNA fingerprinting - mating systems
• Molecular sexing of monomorphic species
- captive management - studies of sex ratios

21

How many taxa of birds are extinct and how many are threatened and why?

24 taxa extinct, 127 taxa threatened
– large birds (>500g) more likely to be threatened than secure
- smaller birds more likely to be secure than threatened

22

Where do lot of the threatened taxa nest?

26% of threatened taxa nest in hollows – large owls & parrots in particular
- 23.3% are ground-nesting
- 50 of 133 island taxa are extinct/threatened

23

What are the threatening processes for birds?

• clearance for agriculture
• grazing
• altered fire regimes
• predation
• direct exploitation
- hunting
- bird trade