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Songbird

suborder of birds
(Redirected from Songbirds)

Songbirds are the main group of birds in the order Passeriformes. They are the suborder Passeri, sometimes called 'oscines' (Latin for songbird). They are a genuine clade.

Songbirds
Temporal range: early Eocene to present
Eastern yellow robin.jpg
Eastern yellow robin (Eopsaltria australis)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
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Suborder:
Passeri

There are about 4000 species of songbird. Their syrinx (vocal organ) is able to produce varied and beautiful singing.[1] They are a very successful group of birds, in fact they are the dominant birds on Earth today.

It seems songbirds evolved 50 million years ago in the part of Gondwana which later became Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and Antarctica. They then spread around the world.[2][3]

SongEdit

Their song is mainly territorial: it communicates the identity and whereabouts of an individual to other birds of the same species. It also signals sexual intentions. Female preference in some populations is be based on the extent of a male's song repertoire. The larger a male's repertoire, the more females a male individual attracts.[4]

Bird calls are also used for alarms and contact. They are especially important in birds that feed or migrate in flocks. Although almost all birds give calls of some sort, well-developed songs are only given by a few lines outside the songbirds.

FamiliesEdit

CorvidaEdit

This is now known to be a paraphyletic group and so it is not used in modern systematics.

PasseridaEdit

This is accepted as a clade.

ReferencesEdit

  1. There are some exceptions, the crow family, for example.
  2. Barker F.K. et al 2004. Phylogeny and diversification of the largest avian radiation. PNAS 101(30): 11040-11045.
  3. Low T. 2014. Where song began: Australia's birds and how they changed the world. Penguin Australia.
  4. Byers, B.E. and D.E. Kroodsma 2008. Female mate choice and songbird song repertoires. The Association for the Study of Animal Behavior 77: 13-22.

Other websitesEdit