Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
|Specimen Records:||3||Public Records:||3|
|Specimens with Sequences:||12||Public Species:||1|
|Specimens with Barcodes:||3||Public BINs:||1|
|Species With Barcodes:||1|
The ground hornbills (Bucorvidae) are a family of the order Coraciiformes, with a single genus Bucorvus and two extant species. The family is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa: the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill occurs in a belt from Senegal east to Ethiopia, with the Southern Ground Hornbill occurring in the south and east of the continent.
Ground hornbills are large, with adults around a metre tall. Both species are ground-dwelling, unlike other hornbills and feed on insects, snakes, other birds, amphibians and even tortoises. They are among the longest-lived of all birds, with the larger southern species being indeed possibly the slowest-breeding (triennially) and longest-lived of all birds.
Ornithologists consider the hornbills a distinct order Bucerotiformes and usually raise the ground hornbills to family level (Bucorvidae) on account of their distinctness. The genus Bucorvus contains two extant species:
- Abyssinian Ground Hornbill Bucorvus abyssinicus (also known as Northern Ground Hornbill)
- Southern Ground Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri
A prehistoric ground hornbill, Bucorvus brailloni, has been described from fossil bones in Morocco, suggesting that prior to Quaternary glaciations the genus was much more widespread or distributed differently.
It is currently thought that the ground hornbills, along with Tockus and Tropicranus are almost exclusively carnivorous and lack the gular pouch that allows more distal hornbill genera to store fruit.
- Kinnaird Margaret F. and O‘Brien< Timothy G.; The Ecology and Conservation of Asian Hornbills: Farmers of the Forest; pp. 20-23. ISBN 0226437124
- Wasser, D. E. and Sherman, P.W.; “Avian longevities and their interpretation under evolutionary theories of senescence” in Journal of Zoology 2 November 2009
- Skutch; Alexander Frank (author) and Gardner, Dana (illustrator) Helpers at birds' nests : a worldwide survey of cooperative breeding and related behavior pp. 69-71. Published 1987 by University of Iowa Press. ISBN 0877451508
- Kemp, A. C. 1995 The Hornbills. Oxford University Press, Oxford.