By Claus Konig, Freidhelm Weick, Jan-Hendrik Becking, Friedhelm Weick
Owls are enduringly renowned birds, yet as a result of their nocturnal conduct such a lot species are tricky to determine good. The plumages of many species are cryptic and tough to split through plumage on my own. This challenge is compounded through the several morphs that many undertake. This booklet totally describes each identified species and subspecies of owl, in addition to providing the newest proof on owl taxonomy, in accordance with DNA paintings and vocalisations. simply because voice is essential in owl identity, a lot emphasis is put on it within the publication and sonograms are supplied for many species
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3. 1 Higher order systematics Owls represent a fascinating group of nocturnal raptors with a complex biology (Amadon & Bull 1988, Bock & McEvey 1969, Burton 1992, Del Hoyo et al. 1999, Eck & Busse 1973, König et al. 1999, König & Weick: this volume, Mikkola 1983). Owls have had to evolve several adaptations in order to occupy the ecological niche of a nocturnal raptor. In addition to specialised hunting strategies, owls developed a sophisticated acoustical communication system. Morphology is often invariant in many owl species but the distinctive calls, which are inherited and not learned, are of considerable taxonomic value (König 1991a, b, 1994a, b; Hekstra 1982).
2004, Roulin & Wink 2004, Nittinger et al. 2005, Helbig et al. 2005, Gamauf et al. 2005 and Proudfoot et al. 2006, 2007) We have chosen the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene to study the finer details of speciation and phylogeny of owls (Wink & Heidrich 1999, 2000; Wink et al. 2004). We have enlarged our cytochrome b database and have additionally sequenced nuclear markers (especially RAG-1; LDHb intron) for all groups that were critical. Basically, the ncDNA data support the results obtained from mtDNA (Wink & Heidrich 1999; Wink et al.
We thus suggest merging Asioninae with Striginae (creating a tribe Asionini) in order to avoid paraphyletic groups. Aegolius, Athene, Glaucidium and Surnia form a monophyletic group in all reconstructions, which would agree with a subfamily Surniinae, if we exclude Ninox. In the present definition (including Ninox) the subfamily Surniinae would become paraphyletic. If we were to exclude Ninoxini from Surniinae and raise its status to that of a subfamily Ninoxinae, we would gain a system that would agree with cladistic rules.
Owls of the World by Claus Konig, Freidhelm Weick, Jan-Hendrik Becking, Friedhelm Weick