Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A taxonomic genus within the family Leptosomidae — the cuckoo roller.

Etymologies

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Examples

  • Leptosomus discolor and considerations on its affinities.

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  • Cracraft (1971) proposed that Leptosomus represented an early stage in roller evolution that pre-dated the evolution of sexual monomorphism within Coracii (though he did express some doubt about the Courol's precise affinities).

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  • Leptosomus was thought to be a cuckoo: it was originally named

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  • The Madagascan cuckoo-roller or Courol* Leptosomus discolor is a distinctive, large-headed, short-legged predatory bird that inhabits the forests of Madagascar and the Comores [adjacent photo of male Courol taken at Vakona in Madagascar; image courtesy of Mary Blanchard].

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  • Leptosomus, but three subspecies have been named: L.d. discolor of Madagascar and Mayotte Island, L.d. intermedius of Anjouan, and L.d. gracilis of Grand Comoro.

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  • Leptosomus in a phylogenetic analysis with other 'coraciiforms', and found it to be outside of a clade that included all other putative members of this group.

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  • Leptosomus is also unusual in possessing slit-like nostrils that are located further toward the bill's tip than is typical.

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  • The implication from these results is that Leptosomus is definitely not a 'core coraciiform' (and definitely not a roller) and that, while its precise affinities remain rather unclear, it represents some sort of ancient lineage that might lie within the region of the tree that includes 'nightbirds' and swifts, or piciforms and/or 'core coraciiforms'.

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  • More recently, Mayr et al. (2003) found Leptosomus to group with frogmouths in the 'nightbird' + apodiform clade, Ericson et al. (2006) found Leptosomus to be outside of a land bird clade that includes owls, mousebirds, 'core coraciiforms', trogons and piciforms (woodpeckers and kin), and Hackett et al. (2008) found Leptosomus to be close to (but outside of) a clade that includes trogons, piciforms and 'core coraciiforms'.

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  • In fact, it's so similar overall to Leptosomus that Mayr (2008b) regarded the latter as a possible 'living fossil' (though

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