Bird of paradise

The Life of Animals | Bird of paradise | Birds of paradise are Generally crow-like in general body-form, and, indeed, are the brother group to the corvids (crows and jays). Birds-of-paradise range in size from the King Bird-of-paradise at 50 g (1.8 oz) and 15 cm (5.9 in) to the Curl-crested Manucode at 44 cm (17 in) and 430 g (15 oz) . The male Black Sicklebill, with its long tail, is the Longest species at 110 cm (43 in). As with body size on average bill size varies with sex, although the species where the females have larger bills than the male are more common, particularly in the insect eating species.

Generally all these species have black plumage with varying amounts of green and blue iridescence The center of bird-of-paradise diversity is the large island of New Guinea; all but two genera are found in New Guinea.  The remaining species are restricted to New Guinea and some of the Surrounding islands. Many species have highly restricted ranges, particularly a number of species with restricted habitat types Such as mid-montane forest (like the Black Sicklebill) or island endemics (like the Wilson's Bird-of-paradise)

The majority of birds-of-paradise live in tropical forests, including rainforest, swamps and forest moss, Nearly All of Them solitary tree dwellers. Several species have been recorded in coastal mangroves. The southernmost species, the Paradise Riflebird of Australia, lives in sub-tropical and temperate wet forests. The Closest evolutionary relatives of the birds-of-paradise are the crow and jay family Corvidae, the monarch flycatchers and the Australian mudnesters Monarchidae Struthideidae.

A 2009 study examining the mitochondrial DNA of all species to examine the relationships within the family and to its nearest relatives estimated That the family emerged 24 million years ago, older than previous estimates. The study Identified five clades within the family, and placed the split the between the first clade, the which contains the monogamous manucodes and Paradise-crow, and all the other birds-of-paradise, to be 10 million years ago. The second clade includes the parotias and the King of Saxony Bird-of-paradise.

The final clade includes the Cicinnurus Paradisaea and the birds-of-paradise. The three species of satinbird (the genera Cnemophilus and Loboparadisea) were the resource persons treated as a subfamily of the birds-of-paradise, Cnemophilinae. The same study found That the Macgregor's Bird-of-paradise was Actually a large Australasian member of the honeyeater family. In Addition to these three species, a number of systematically enigmatic species and genera have been Considered potential members of this family. The two species in the genus Melampitta, also from New Guinea, have been linked with the birds-of-paradise, but Remain Their relationships are uncertain, more recently being linked with the Australian mudnesters.

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