New Bird-of-paradise Has Killer Dance Moves

30th May 2018

“The courtship dance is different. The vocalizations are different. The females look different. Even the shape of the displaying male is different.”

Both birds are endemic to New Guinea, but the Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise is found only in the island’s far-western Bird’s Head, or Vogelkop, region. Researchers renamed the more widespread superb bird-of-paradise—known for its bouncy “smiley face” dance routine - the “greater superb bird-of-paradise.”

Now, for the first time, newly released audiovisuals support the claim that the Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise is its own distinct species. Scholes and Timothy Laman, ornithologist and wildlife photojournalist at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology documented the audiovisual data, which appear in the journal PeerJ. 

Video footage reveals that when expanded for courtship display, the Vogelkop male’s raised cape creates a completely different appearance - crescent-shaped with pointed tips rather than the oval shape of the widespread form of the species. The way the Vogelkop male dances for the female is also is distinctive, his steps being smooth instead of bouncy.

Article source: Futurity

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