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Record: oai:ARNO:505417

AuthorC.S. Roselaar
TitleSystematic notes on Megapodiidae (Aves, Galliformes), including the description of five new subspecies
JournalBulletin Zoologisch Museum
AbstractMegapodiidae (megapodes, brush-turkeys, scrubfowl, and relatives) form a peculiar family within the Galliformes. They show an unusual incubation strategy which shows resemblance to that practiced by reptilians but which is unknown for other bird families: eggs are laid in burrows or in mounds of leaves or other organic debris gathered by the birds, and heat generated by decaying leaves or, in case of burrownesting, heat from geothermal activity or from sunradiation results in hatching of the chicks, providing that a temperature of c. 33°C and a moderate humidity are maintained (Dekker & Jones 1992). Once hatched, the chick struggles to the surface and leaves the hatching-area on the foot or on the wing without its parents paying attention to them. This breeding behaviour has fascinated naturalists and scientist for over a century (e.g., from Wallace 1869, to Booth & Seymour 1984, Immelmann & Böhner 1984, Kloska & Nicolai 1988, and Dekker & Jones 1992). Much of the present-day knowledge of megapodes is gathered in a forthcoming book, The Megapodes (Megapodiidae) (Jones, Dekker, & Roselaar, in press), to be published by the Oxford University Press. While working on this book, we soon became aware that the systematics of various taxa of Megapodiidae were outdated. The last major revisions of the family were those of Gray (1861), Oustalet (1879- 1880, 1880, 1881), and Ogilvie-Grant (1893), with partial surveys of some taxa or of some regions by Salvadori (1882), Mayr (1938), and White & Bruce (1986), and a mere listing of all forms by Peters (1934). New research on specimens of Megapodiidae in various zoological collections resulted in conclusions about species and subspecies limits which were in part at variance with those in the earlier literature. Most of these data will be published in the forthcoming book, but part of it needs separate publication.
Document typearticle
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