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Biomechanical features of the bill and and jaw apparatus of cuckoos, turacos and the hoatzin in relation to food acquisition and processing

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A morphofunctional analysis of the feeding apparatus was conducted from an evolutionary perspective on the hoatzin (Opisthocomidae), some cuckoos (Cuculidae) and some turacos (Musophagidae). These goups share a common ancestral adaptation of the bill apparatus linked to starting food processing at base of the bill. The morphofunctional analyses give results different from what is known for the Galliformes and allow the construction of the hypothesis of two trophic adaptive pathways. One followed by the Cuculidae would have led to the consumption of a large range of arthropods, including toxic species; the other, followed by the Musophagidae and Opisthocomidae, would have led to the consumption of plant parts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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