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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 mate ...
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John Gould
John Gould (; 14 September 1804 – 3 February 1881) was an English ornithologist. He published a number of monographs on birds, illustrated by plates produced by his wife, Elizabeth Gould, and several other artists, including Edward Lear, Henry Constantine Richter, Joseph Wolf and William Matthew Hart. He has been considered the father of bird study in Australia and the Gould League in Australia is named after him. His identification of the birds now nicknamed "Darwin's finches" played a role in the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. Gould's work is referenced in Charles Darwin's book, ''On the Origin of Species''. Early life Gould was born in Lyme Regis, the first son of a gardener. Both father and son probably had little education. After working on Dowager Lady Poulett's glass house, his father obtained a position on an estate near Guildford, Surrey, and then in 1818, Gould Snr became foreman in the Royal Gardens of Windsor. Gould then bec ...
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Gregory Mathews
Gregory Macalister Mathews CBE FRSE FZS FLS (10 September 1876 – 27 March 1949) was an Australian-born amateur ornithologist who spent most of his later life in England. Life He was born in Biamble in New South Wales the son of Robert H. Mathews. He was educated at The King's School, Parramatta. Mathews made his fortune in mining shares, and moved to England in 1902. In 1910 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were William Eagle Clarke, Ramsay Heatley Traquair, John Alexander Harvie-Brown and William Evans. Ornithology Mathews was a controversial figure in Australian ornithology. He was responsible for bringing trinomial nomenclature into local taxonomy, however he was regarded as an extreme splitter. He recognised large numbers of subspecies on scant evidence and few notes. The extinct Lord Howe Pigeon was described by Mathews in 1915, using a painting as a guide. At the time, he named it ''Raperia godmanae'' for Alice Mary ...
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Blue-breasted Fairywren
The blue-breasted fairywren (''Malurus pulcherrimus''), or blue-breasted wren, is a species of passerine bird in the Australasian wren family, Maluridae. It is non-migratory and endemic to southern Western Australia and the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Exhibiting a high degree of sexual dimorphism, the male adopts a brilliantly coloured breeding plumage, with a bright blue crown, ear coverts and upper back, red shoulders, contrasting with a dark blue throat, grey-brown tail and wings and pale underparts. Non-breeding males, females and juveniles have predominantly grey-brown plumage. No separate subspecies are recognised. Taxonomy and systematics John Gould described the blue-breasted fairywren in 1844. Its species name is the Latin adjective ''pulcherrimus'' "very pretty". It is one of eleven species of the genus ''Malurus'', commonly known as fairywrens, found in Australia and lowland New Guinea.Rowley & Russell, p. 143 Within the genus it belongs to a group of four ver ...
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Meliphagoidea
__NOTOC__ Meliphagoidea is a superfamily of passerine birds. They contain a vast diversity of small to mid-sized songbirds widespread in the Austropacific region. The Australian Continent has the largest richness in genera and species. Systematics This group was proposed based on the phenetic DNA-DNA hybridization studies of Charles Sibley ''et al.''. A more modern definition of a monophyletic Meliphagoidea based on cladistic analysis was made by ornithologists at the American Museum of Natural History.Barker, F. Keith; Cibois, Alice; Schikler, Peter A.; Feinstein, Julie & Cracraft, Joel (2004): Phylogeny and diversification of the largest avian radiation. ''PNAS'' 101 (30): 11040–11045. PDF fulltext Families *Family Maluridae: fairy-wrens, emu-wrens and grasswrens *Family Dasyornithidae: bristlebirds. Formerly in Acanthizidae. *Family Acanthizidae: scrubwrens, thornbills and gerygones *Family Pardalotidae: pardalotes (but see below) *Family Meliphagidae: honeyeaters The ...
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Honeyeater
The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family, Meliphagidae, of small to medium-sized birds. The family includes the Australian chats, myzomelas, friarbirds, wattlebirds, miners and melidectes. They are most common in Australia and New Guinea, and found also in New Zealand, the Pacific islands as far east as Samoa and Tonga, and the islands to the north and west of New Guinea known as Wallacea. Bali, on the other side of the Wallace Line, has a single species. In total there are 186 species in 55 genera, roughly half of them native to Australia, many of the remainder occupying New Guinea. With their closest relatives, the Maluridae (Australian fairy-wrens), Pardalotidae (pardalotes), and Acanthizidae (thornbills, Australian warblers, scrubwrens, etc.), they comprise the superfamily Meliphagoidea and originated early in the evolutionary history of the oscine passerine radiation. Although honeyeaters look and behave very much like other nectar-feeding passerines around the wo ...
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Meliphagidae
The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family, Meliphagidae, of small to medium-sized birds. The family includes the Australian chats, myzomelas, friarbirds, wattlebirds, miners and melidectes. They are most common in Australia and New Guinea, and found also in New Zealand, the Pacific islands as far east as Samoa and Tonga, and the islands to the north and west of New Guinea known as Wallacea. Bali, on the other side of the Wallace Line, has a single species. In total there are 186 species in 55 genera, roughly half of them native to Australia, many of the remainder occupying New Guinea. With their closest relatives, the Maluridae (Australian fairy-wrens), Pardalotidae (pardalotes), and Acanthizidae (thornbills, Australian warblers, scrubwrens, etc.), they comprise the superfamily Meliphagoidea and originated early in the evolutionary history of the oscine passerine radiation. Although honeyeaters look and behave very much like other nectar-feeding passerines around the wo ...
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Maluridae
The Australasian wrens are a family, Maluridae, of small, insectivorous passerine birds endemic to Australia and New Guinea. While commonly known as wrens, they are unrelated to the true wrens. The family comprises 32 species (including sixteen fairywrens, three emu-wrens, and thirteen grasswrens) in six genera. Taxonomy and systematics As with many other Australian creatures, and perhaps more than most, the species making up this family were comprehensively misunderstood by early researchers. They were variously classified as Old World flycatchers, Old World warblers, and Old World babblers. In the late 1960s morphological studies began to suggest that the Australo-Papuan fairywrens, the grasswrens, emu-wrens and two monotypic wren-like genera from New Guinea were related and, following Charles Sibley's pioneering work on egg-white proteins in the mid-1970s, Australian researchers adopted the family name Maluridae in 1975. With further morphological work and the great strid ...
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Sylviidae
Sylviidae is a family of passerine birds that includes the typical warblers and a number of babblers formerly placed within the Old World babbler family. They are found in Eurasia and Africa. Taxonomy and systematics The scientific name Sylviidae was introduced by the English zoologist William Elford Leach (as Sylviadæ) in a guide to the contents of the British Museum published in 1820. The family became part of an assemblage known as the Old World warblers and was a wastebin taxon with over 400 species of bird in over 70 genera. Advances in classification, particularly helped with molecular data, have led to the splitting out of several new families from within this group. There is now evidence that these ''Sylvia'' "warblers" are more closely related to the Old World babblers than the warblers and thus these birds are better referred to as Sylvia babblers, or just sylviids. A molecular phylogenetic study using mitochondrial DNA sequence data published in 2011 found th ...
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Muscicapidae
The Old World flycatchers are a large family, the Muscicapidae, of small passerine birds restricted to the Old World (Europe, Africa and Asia), with the exception of several vagrants and two species, Bluethroat (''Luscinia svecica)'' and Northern Wheatear (''Oenanthe oenanthe''), found also in North America. These are mainly small arboreal insectivores, many of which, as the name implies, take their prey on the wing. The family includes 344 species and is divided into 51 genera. Taxonomy The name Muscicapa for the family was introduced by the Scottish naturalist John Fleming in 1822. The word had earlier been used for the genus '' Muscicapa'' by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760. Muscicapa comes from the Latin ''musca'' meaning a fly and '' capere'' to catch. In 1910 the German ornithologist Ernst Hartert found it impossible to define boundaries between the three families Muscicapidae, Sylviidae (Old World warblers) and Turdidae (thrushes). He therefore t ...
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Wren
Wrens are a family of brown passerine birds in the predominantly New World family Troglodytidae. The family includes 88 species divided into 19 genera. Only the Eurasian wren occurs in the Old World, where, in Anglophone regions, it is commonly known simply as the "wren", as it is the originator of the name. The name ''wren'' has been applied to other, unrelated birds, particularly the New Zealand wrens (Acanthisittidae) and the Australian wrens (Maluridae). Most wrens are visually inconspicuous though they have loud and often complex songs. Exceptions include the relatively large members of the genus ''Campylorhynchus'', which can be quite bold in their behaviour. Wrens have short wings that are barred in most species, and they often hold their tails upright. Wrens are primarily insectivorous, eating insects, spiders and other small invertebrates, but many species also eat vegetable matter and some eat small frogs and lizards. Etymology and usage The English name "wren" derive ...
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Systematic Biology
Biological systematics is the study of the diversification of living forms, both past and present, and the relationships among living things through time. Relationships are visualized as evolutionary trees (synonyms: cladograms, phylogenetic trees, phylogenies). Phylogenies have two components: branching order (showing group relationships) and branch length (showing amount of evolution). Phylogenetic trees of species and higher taxa are used to study the evolution of traits (e.g., anatomical or molecular characteristics) and the distribution of organisms (biogeography). Systematics, in other words, is used to understand the evolutionary history of life on Earth. The word systematics is derived from the Latin word ''systema,'' which means systematic arrangement of organisms. Carl Linnaeus used 'Systema Naturae' as the title of his book. Branches and applications In the study of biological systematics, researchers use the different branches to further understand the relationsh ...
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