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15 new bird species found in the Amazon

Posted on Friday, 7 June, 2013 | Comment icon 8 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: Fernando S. Aldado

 
The Amazon rainforest has yielded a treasure trove of 15 species of previously undiscovered birds.

The vast swaths of South American rainforest are well known for being home to a large and diverse collection of animals, birds and plants. The latest discoveries represent the single largest haul of new bird species since 1871 when 40 were found by Austrian researcher August von Pelzeln. They were found over the course of several expeditions which included ornithologist Luis Silveira and his students from the University of São Paulo.

"Describing new species is not a trivial task," said Silveira. "We considered a bird as a new species when at least two of the three criteria - plumage, voice, and genetics - were consistently different from some previously known and closely related, already described species."

"Discovered mostly within the last five years, in southern swaths of forest, many of the birds live near rivers."

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 Source: Wired


  Discuss: View comments (8)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by freetoroam on 5 June, 2013, 19:54
Amazing and fascinating. Are they mutated or evolving as they belong to an order that includes ravens, sparrows, and finches. or birds which have always been there, but never discovered before?
Comment icon #2 Posted by MrSerendipity on 7 June, 2013, 13:16
Amazing and fascinating. Are they mutated or evolving as they belong to an order that includes ravens, sparrows, and finches. or birds which have always been there, but never discovered before? Yes, a very good point indeed. If they are mutations then they mightn't have been there a very few years ago. I wonder what the experts would have to say about that.
Comment icon #3 Posted by kannin on 7 June, 2013, 16:21
cool i love seing new species, its refreshing to know not everything has been discovered
Comment icon #4 Posted by Abramelin on 7 June, 2013, 16:53
Amazing and fascinating. Are they mutated or evolving as they belong to an order that includes ravens, sparrows, and finches. or birds which have always been there, but never discovered before? It is no surprise to me. The Amazon rainforest is very dense, and scientists have not researched the whole area. It's not easy terrain to travel through.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 7 June, 2013, 18:19
"Describing new species is not a trivial task," Silveira said. Many sang different songs, or had different genetic sequences than previously known birds. "We considered a bird as a new species when at least two of the three criteria plumage, voice, and genetics were consistently different from some previously known and closely related, already described species." So I guess they need to catch the birds to determine the genetics. I hope they aren't hurting them to do so.
Comment icon #6 Posted by BorisIWantToKnow on 7 June, 2013, 20:51
Incredible, I love hearing about new species being discovered, just fills me up with hope Just one thing I'm curious about, the "arc of deforestation"?. I find it strange that they are discovered there, but i'm no ornithologist
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin on 13 June, 2013, 15:49
Yeah, great discovery. Unfortunately, deforestation by companies and locals in such regions are threatening our ability to find interesting, perhaps beneficial, new plants and creatures.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Mistydawn on 15 June, 2013, 22:35
Makes you wonder could there be a better species of man hidden away in there....


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