Mound-builders

Front Cover
Csiro Publishing, Nov 3, 2008 - Science - 128 pages
Mound-builders are unique in being the only birds that do not incubate their eggs using body heat; rather, a variety of naturally occurring sources of heat is exploited such as solar energy and the heat generated by decomposing organic matter. This book shows how this remarkable adaptation influences every part of these birds’ lives, including the development of the embryo, the parentless life of the hatchlings, their social organisation and their survival. Twenty-two species of mound-builders exist within the Megapode family. Mound-builders examines the three occurring in Australia: the Scrubfowl in the humid tropics; the Brush turkey in dense forested areas from Cape York to Sydney; and most remarkable of all, the Malleefowl in the arid interior. Scientific interest in these birds has increased considerably in recent decades, and Mound-builders summarises many significant discoveries. With a strong emphasis on conservation and changing interactions between mound-builders and people, this is an excellent introduction to one of the most unusual bird families.
 

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Contents

1 Familiar yet distinct
1
2 Taxonomy distribution and habitat
7
3 Appearance and ecology
17
4 The mound
33
5 Abandoned eggs
57
6 Growing up without parental care
67
7 Social and reproductive behaviour
81
8 Conservation and management ofAustralian moundbuilders
93
Endnotes
107
Index
117
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