Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 5
Specimens with Sequences: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species: 2
Species With Barcodes: 2
Public Records: 1
Public Species: 1
Public BINs: 1
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Wikipedia

Leptoptilos

Leptoptilos is a genus of very large tropical storks. Two species are resident breeders in southern Asia, and the marabou stork is found in Sub-Saharan Africa.

These are huge birds, typically 110–150 cm tall with a 210–250 cm wingspan. The three species each have a black upper body and wings, and white belly and undertail. The head and neck are bare like those of a vulture. The huge bill is long and thick. Juveniles are a duller, browner version of the adult.

Leptoptilos storks are gregarious colonial breeders in wetlands, building large stick nests in trees. They feed on frogs, insects, young birds, lizards and rodents. They are frequent scavengers, and the naked head and neck are adaptations to this, as are those of the vultures with which they often feed. A feathered head would become rapidly clotted with blood and other substances when a scavenging bird's head was inside a large corpse, and the bare head is easier to keep clean.

Most storks fly with neck outstretched, but the three Leptoptilos storks retract their necks in flight like a heron.

Species[edit]

There is an ample fossil record of this genus. L. titan, which was hunted by prehistoric humans, was truly gigantic, and L. falconeri possibly was one of the most widespread storks worldwide during the Pliocene:[1]

Leptoptilos siwalicensis from the Siwalik deposits (Late Miocene? to Late Pliocene) may belong to this genus or to a closely related one (Louchart et al. 2005).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Louchart, Antoine; Vignaud, Patrick; Likius, Andossa; Brunet, Michel & and White, Tim D. (2005). "A large extinct marabou stork in African Pliocene hominid sites, and a review of the fossil species of Leptoptilos". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 50 (3): 549–563. 
  2. ^ Meijer HJM & R A Due (2010). "A new species of giant marabou stork (Aves: Ciconiiformes) from the Pleistocene of Liang Bua, Flores (Indonesia)". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 160: 707–724. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2010.00616.x. 
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