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Rufous coloration associated with terrestrial locomotion in the adaptive radiation of Malagasy Couas
- Hasegawa, Masaru, Arai, Emi
- Journal of ornithology 2016 v.157 no.4 pp. 1115-1118
- adaptive radiation, beak, birds, color, locomotion, phylogeny, phylogeography, plumage
- Adaptive radiation is a suitable system for the study of the (co)evolution of traits because phylogeographic constraints should be of minor importance. Adaptive radiation of beak morphology in birds is a classic example, but the evolution of other traits remains unclear. Here, using a comparative phylogenetic analysis, we studied plumage coloration in relation to terrestrial:aerial locomotion in Malagasy Couas. We hypothesized that rufous coloration would be beneficial for crypsis on the ground, and found that rufous coloration increased with the relative investment in terrestrial:aerial locomotion, measured as tarsus:wing length ratio. Terrestrial:aerial locomotion may explain the diversity of plumage coloration, at least in part.