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Species Account: The Superb Bird-of-paradise Essay

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The Superb bird-of-paradise is the only member in the Genus Lophorina and it part of the family Paradisaeidae commonly known as the birds-of-paradise which contains 41 species. Most of species within the Paradisaeidae family are from New Guinea and its surrounding islands [16]. An article An unexpectedly long history of sexual selection in birds-of-paradise discusses the species phylogeny examining the various species of the family and how over time they have evolved separately (Martin Irestedt, Knud A Jonsson, Jon Fjeldsa, Les Christidis, and Per GP Erison, 2009). Each species of the Family has rare and unique physical and behavioral traits tied to sexual selection and sexual dimorphism. By way of analyzing a nuclear data set including cytochrome b, ornithine decarbozylase introns 6 and 7, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase intron 11, the group was able to create a tree of phylogenetic relationships of the birds-of-paradise which can be found in the Figure 1. The authors of the article concluded that there are five main clades, and Lophorina superba falls within the clade C which includes “the twelve-wired bird-of-paradise (Seleucidis melanoleuca), Drepanornis sicklebills, the standard wing bird-of-paradise (Semioptera wallacii), riflebirds (Ptiloris), and the superb bird-of-paradise (Lophorina superba)” (Martin Irestedt, Knud A Jonsson, Jon Fjeldsa, Les Christidis, and Per GP Erison, 2009). Further examination of Figure 1 reveals that within clade C Lophorina superba is most closely related to Ptiloris intercedens and Ptiloris magnificus. [6, 9, 16]

The distinctive traits of class Aves, known as birds are that they are feathered, winged, two legged, warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrates [3]. The distinctive trait of or...


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13. Podulka, Sandy, Ronald W. Rohrbaugh, and Rick Bonney. "Chapter 4 - What's Inside: Anatomy and Physiology." Handbook of bird biology. 2nd ed. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Lab of Ornithology in association with Princeton University Press, 2004. 4.3 4.76 4.160-161. Print.
14. "Superb bird-of-paradise (Lophorina superba)." Arkive. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2014. .
15. Phelan, Jay. What Is life?: a guide to biology with physiology. Second ed. New York: W.H. Freeman and Co., 2013. Print.
16. "Bird-of-paradise." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Apr. 2014. Web. 4 May 2014. .
17. "Superb Bird-of-paradise." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Feb. 2014. Web. 4 May 2014. .



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