Australian Museum Journal Systematic and functional aspects of the locomotor system of the Scrub-birds, Atrichornis, and Lyrebirds, Menura (Passeriformes: Atrichornithidae and Menuridae)

Shortform:
Raikow, 1985, Rec. Aust. Mus. 37(4): 211–228
Author(s):
Raikow, R. J.
Year published:
1985
Title:
Systematic and functional aspects of the locomotor system of the Scrub-birds, Atrichornis, and Lyrebirds, Menura (Passeriformes: Atrichornithidae and Menuridae)
Serial title:
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume:
37
Issue:
4
Start page:
211
End page:
228
DOI:
10.3853/j.0067-1975.37.1985.310
Language:
English
Date published:
20 November 1985
Cover date:
20 November 1985
ISSN:
0067-1975
CODEN:
RAUMAJ
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Subjects:
AVES; OSTEOLOGY
Digitized:
16 January 2009
Reference number:
310
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (135kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (4317kb PDF)

Abstract

The forelimb and hindlimb musculature was dissected in the Noisy Scrub-bird, Atrichornis clamosus (Atrichornithidae), and the Superb Lyrebird, , Menura novaehollandiae (Menuridae). The purposes of the study were to test certain phylogenetic hypotheses and to examine the locomotor specializations of the Menurae. The two families share derived myological traits and are sister groups. The structure of M. flexor perforatus digiti IV confirms that their affinities are with the oscines and not with the suboscines. The scrub-birds have the more highly derived limb morphology. The Menurae exhibit several myological conditions not shared with the Ptilonorhynchidae, other members of the 'corvid assemblage' or other passerines. They are, therefore, not similar to the bowerbirds in their limb musculature. A sister-group relationship with bowerbirds is not ruled out, however, because the peculiarities of the Menurae could have evolved after separation from a common ancestor with the bowerbirds, but the same is true for any suggested sister group. Both scrub-birds and lyrebirds are nearly flightless. , Atrichornis has reduced clavicles and greater forelimb reduction than does , Menura. In contrast, , Menura shows greater specialization in the hindlimb, which is elongated and has enlarged claws specialized for digging and grasping.

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