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Ecomorphology and foraging height in the Malagasy endemic Velvet Asity (Philepitta castanea)

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The ecomorphological adaptations and foraging heights in the endemic Velvet Asity (Philepitta castanea) were studied in Ranomafana rain forest, south-eastern Madagascar, from August to November in 1995 and 1996. The external morphology showed a short, slightly decurved, narrow bill, perching feet of moderate length, a short tail, and rounded wings. Data on aerodynamic aspects reveal a high wing loading and a small degree of slotting at the wing tip. Besides, quantitative data from the field indicate that: (1) the forest under-storey was frequently used for all behaviours (foraging, eliminative, and inactive behaviours), and (2) fruits were plucked more efficiently from perches than on the wing.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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