widowbird


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widowbird

(ˈwɪdəʊˌbɜːd)
n
(Animals) another name for whydah
References in periodicals archive ?
The male long-tailed widowbird has a remarkable ornament: a tail that is almost one meter long on a bird the size of a European starling.
Female choice selects for extreme tail length in a widowbird.
This long-tailed widowbird from Africa (left) is a little bigger than a house sparrow.
Tail length affects territory ownership in the yellow-shouldered widowbird.
On the other hand, the same trait may be favored by different types of sexual selection in different species; for instance, in one species of widowbirds (Euplectes progne), the long tails of males influence female choice but not the outcome of contests between males (Andersson 1982), whereas the converse is true in a congener (E.
For instance, estimates for Jackson's widowbird Euplectes jacksoni suggest that its long tail could increase flight costs by more than 300% (Thomas 1993).
Most recently, across 14 species of widowbirds and bishops (genus Euplectes), Andersson and Andersson (1994) have demonstrated that sexual dimorphism in wing length is independently related not only to dimorphism in body size but also to sexual dimorphism in tail length and to the incidence of display flights.
The most recent divergence of widowbird populations probably occurred during the last expansion of forests in Africa, which would have resulted in a fragmentation of the widowbirds' grassland habitat.
Male tail length among the 16 species of widowbirds and bishops (genus Euplectes) varies considerably, from 3 to 50 cm (females are cryptically colored and have short tails), and recent evidence from three of these is consistent with the hypothesis that their long tails are adaptations arising from sexual selection (M.
1988) to try to exclude genetic drift as a sufficient explanation for the interspecific variation in tail length occurring in widowbirds and bishops.
Sexual dimorphism and modes of sexual selection in lekking Jackson's widowbirds Euplectes jacksoni (Ploceinae).
Examples of this approach involve adjusting clutch size (references above), tail length in widowbirds (Andersson 1982), or offspring size by yolk removal from eggs (Sinervo and McEdward 1988; Sinervo 1990; Sinervo and Huey 1990).