The classification of the olive warbler, Peucedramus taeniatus. American Museum novitates ; no. 2103

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New York, N.Y. : American Museum of Natural History
"New World songbirds display various conditions in the shape of the basihyale bone of the hyoid, in the manner of insertion of the M. hypoglossus posterior, and in the point of origin of the M. stylohyoideus. Table 1 provides a summary which denotes the variations in the basihyale for 177 genera and 352 species, and those in the hyoidean myology for 115 genera and 188 species. The hyoidean variations have a consistent distribution within families, but one supposed member of the Parulidae, Peucedramus taeniatus, displays none of those of its supposed familial kin. It has, instead, those of some Sylviidae, and of Sitta and Chamaea. In Peucedramus the basihyale is cylindrical, the M. hypoglossus posterior does not insert on it, and the M. stylohyoideus takes its origin from the basitemporal plate of the skull. In the Parulidae the basihyale is laterally compressed, the M. hypoglossus posterior inserts on it, and the M. stylohyoideus originates on the posterior tip of the mandible. Functional analyses suggest that, on the whole, the contrasting hyoidean features of Peucedramus and wood warblers are such as to preclude the assignment of the species to the same family. Peucedramus has a jaw-muscle pattern like that of Phylloscopus borealis (Sylviidae), builds a nest reminiscent of that of Regulus satrapa (Sylviidae) and utters call notes quite like those of Sialia mexicana (Turdidae). The young soil the nest. Almost the only important characteristics that Peucedramus shares with the Parulidae are a reduced tenth primary (a polyphyletic feature in songbirds) and an exclusively American distribution. The olive warbler is misplaced in the Parulidae and does not belong elsewhere in the New World 'nine-primaried' Oscines. Though present evidence seems not sufficient for one to classify the bird with certainty, it should be removed from the Parulidae and assigned tentatively to the Musci[c]apidae (sensu lato)"--P. 39-40.
41 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 40-41).