The genus Paradisaea : display and evolution. American Museum novitates ; no. 2714

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New York, N.Y. : American Museum of Natural History
"The 42 species of birds of paradise are herein divided into three groups based on breeding behavior: one group of 12 species for which monogamy is known or assumed, one of 13 species which may either be territorial with a pair bond or polygynous with an 'exploded' display arena, and one of 17 species presumed to be polygynous arena-displaying species without a pair bond. An attempt is made to list characteristics that are shared by arena birds but not necessarily restricted to them: (1) loud calls; (2) extreme sexual dimorphism in plumage; (3) males considerably larger than females; (4) few males in adult plumage seen in comparison to numbers of females and unplumed males; (5) groups of males displaying throughout much of the year whether or not females are present, and (6) frequently members of speciose genera. The seven species of the genus Paradisaea are treated in greater detail. Six (P. rubra, P. apoda, P. raggiana, P. minor, P. decora, and P. guilielmi) are considered polygynous arena birds with no pair bond. Reasons are given for thinking that P. rudolphi may have secondarily acquired pair bond behavior. The known displays of the six polygynous arena species are analyzed and the importance of distinguishing between male-male displays which set up and maintain the male hierarchy and the female-male displays which lead to mating is stressed. I have recognized eight display postures in the genus: (1) wing pose; (2) charging; (3) zig-zagging; (4) male-male duetting; (5) flower display; (6) inverted display; (7) hopping; and (8) copulation. The first four are male-male displays; the last four are female-male displays. Other display components are discussed: bill-wiping, pecking-at-perch, ritualized preening, leaf-plucking, butterfly dance, sun-bathing, and seed regurgitation. Display of unplumed males is discussed, and a brief summary of calls is given. Evolution of polygyny and evolutionary relationships within the genus Paradisaea are discussed"--P. [1].
52 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 49-52).