On the Anatomy of the Red Bird of Paradise, with Comparative Remarks on the Corvidae

Andrew J. Berger
1956 The AUK: A Quarterly Journal of Ornithology  
ThouGh several excellent papers have been written on the pterylography and relationships of the Birds of Paradise (Paradisaeidae), the appendicular myology has not been described. Through the kindness of Mr. Keith K. Kreag of the Detroit Zoological Park, I have been able to dissect a male Red Bird of Paradise, Paradisaea (" Uranornis") rubra, which died on December 1, 1954. The classification used here is that of Mayr (1941: 167-183) rather than the uncritical treatment of Iredale (1950).
more » ... edale (1950). Parker (1875:339 and Plate 62) discussed and illustrated the palate of Paradisaea minor (papuana) and Stonor (1937: 476) illustrated the palate of Manucodia. Nitzsch (1867:75-76 and Plate 3) illustrated the ventral feather tracts of Paradisaea apoda and commented on those of Epimachus. Forbes (1885: 335-344) described the trachea of Seleucides ignotus, Manucodia ater, and Phonygammus keraudrenii gouldii. Ogilvie-Grant (1905) discussed the display behavior of the Lesser Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) and Pycraft (1905) described the pterylography and dermal musculature of the same species. Crandall (1937) commented on the molt and display of P. rubra and Seleucides ignotus ("melanoleucus"). Stonor (1936: 1177-1185) discussed the evolution of the Paradisaeidae and presented a suggested "family tree." Two years later, Stonor (1938: 417-481) illustrated the pterylosis of ten genera, including that of P. rubra. Beether (1953: 287) illustrated the jaw musculature of P. rubra. NOTES ON PTERYLOSIS In speaking about P. rubra, Crandall (1937: 193) stated that "the expected requirement of four months for the molt of the adult male, was established. This began on May 21 and was complete by September 25." The specimen I had for study, and which died on December 1, 1954, exhibited evidence of molt in the remiges, rectrices, and the flank plumes, but not in the rest of the body tracts. Stonor (1938: Figs. 23 and 24) illustrated the dorsal and ventral feather tracts of P. rubra. All that I can add is that there is an anal circlet of feathers. There are 10 primaries and 10 secondaries. The fifth secondary is present (eutaxic). The innermost secondary is the shortest (about 45 mm.), the outermost, the longest (127 ram.). On the left wing, the outer four primaries and the fourth secondary (outermost counted [ Auk 428 BERGER, Anatomy of Paradisaea [vol. as the first) possess basal sheaths, indicative of a recent molt. On the right wing, the outer three primaries and the fourth secondary have such sheaths. A carpal covert, inserted in the proximal side of the base of the first primary, is present and is 21 mm. long in both wings. I found no evidence of a carpal remex. Pycraft (1905: 443) stated that both the carpal remex and its covert were present in P. minor. I found only two obvious alula quills, both of which had recently molted. The outermost was unsheathed for a distance of 19 mm. and 22 mm. on the left and right wing, respectively. The innermost was unsheathed for 23 mm. bilaterally. The number of alula quills should be checked in non-molting specimens. It is likely that there are three quills, the innermost being very small. Miller (1915:136) stated that "small Oscines have but three [alula quills], of which the third is small." There are 12 rectrices and the innermost pair is raised above the level of the others. The sixth rectrix (innermost counted as the first) on the left and the fifth on the right have basal sheaths. There are 10 upper tail coverts. All of the flank plumes possess basal sheaths. The specimen had been eviscerated and the oil gland removed, so that I cannot say whether the oil gland is nude or tufted. Pycraft (1905: 444) stated that it is nude in P. minor. OSTEoLOGY
doi:10.2307/4082009 fatcat:xiyyl733c5bxzkidvqfly23xiy