Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Birds » Tapaculos: Rhinocryptidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Rusty-belted Tapaculo (liosceles Thoracicus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, TAPACULOS AND PEOPLE

Tapaculos: Rhinocryptidae - Habitat

species dry lives mountain

Most species of tapaculos prefer high, cool, tropical mountain rainforests. Only one kind of tapaculo lives in the lowland Amazon rainforest. Several members of this family have adapted to life in dry, desert climates or dry grasslands. Some species have extremely limited habitats, which puts them at risk for extinction, or dying out. For example, one type of tapaculo lives only in the tall grass of certain marshes in Brazil. Species tend to separate by elevation, height of land above sea level, so that in the Andes, a single mountain may be home to four or five species of tapaculos all living at different elevations that do not overlap.

Tapaculos: Rhinocryptidae - Diet [next] [back] Tapaculos: Rhinocryptidae - Physical Characteristics

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over 10 years ago

Is the behaviour a feature that implies evolutionary consequences in the speciation?

In birds the similars behaviour decrease in dramatic form the distances

among sister lineages.

Here we discuss the allopatric speciation of the chilean Rhinocryptidae based in their

behaviour. We propose a new methodology based on ecological and behavioural

patterns in order to understand the concept of speciation in this group of birds. Previous studies suggest that species of the genera Scytalopus they are closely related based on vocal data¹.

The current classification of the representative chilean rhinocryptids has

separated them in order to their morphological characters, plumage variations,geographical dispersion² and differences of vocalizations patterns³.

The brain of the Rhinocriptydae possesses strong structural and functional similarities with those of mammals, specially with regard to the structures that enable multimodal integration capacity in the telencephalon . Such anatomical characteristic of the Rhinocryptidae family may be associated with the behavioural abilities to exploit diverse environments . In turn, this behavioural plasticity might facilitate the use of diverse habitats and broad geographical distribution, as shown by the Chilean species.

We discuss the differences and similarities among the lineages of the chilean rhinocryptids and compare with specie outgroup C.oustaleti (Furnariidae).

According to our results, we postulate that there is not a cut criteria to establish differences among three sister races of the current classification conformed for;

White-throated Tapaculo (Scelorchilus albicollis), Moustached Turca (Pteroptochos megapodius) and Chucao Tapaculo (S. rubecula), since the differences are cryptic. Moreover, integration of behaviour in terms of ecology and morphological characters of the plumage allows us to conclude that decrease distances among sister lineages in Rhinocryptidae.

Aditionally, the great similarity in the behaviours among these species is due to the lifemodes. This group of birds are strongly adapted to the floor in restricted habitat.

Therefore is necessary to preserve the natural habitat of these species, since they are vulnerable to extinguish.

Alejandro Correa Rueda

Parque Etnobotanico Omora, Félix de Amesti Nº 991, Depto. 502, Las Condes,

Santiago, Chile.

Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to A.C.


1. Krabbe, N. & Schulenberg, T.S. Ornit. Mon. 48, 47-88 (1997).

2. Goodall, J.D., A.W. Jhonson & Philippi, A. Las aves de Chile, su conocimiento y sus costumbres. (Buenos Aires,1946).

3. Krabbe, N. & Schulenberg, T.S.. In Handbook of the Birds of the world, Vol. 8

(Eds., J. Del Hoyo, A. Elliot & Christie, D) 748-787. (Lynx Ed., Barcelona; 2003)

4. Rehkämper, G., H.D. Frahm & Zilles, K. Brain Behaviour. Evol. 37,125-143 (1991).

5. Feduccia, A.. The origin and evolution of birds. (Yale Univ. Press, New Haven &

London, 1999).

6. De Santo, T., M.F. Willson, K. Sieving & Armesto J.J. The Condor, Vol.104, 3, 482-495 (2002).

7. Armesto, J.J., R. Rozzi, C. Smith & Arroyo, M.T. Effective conservation targets in

South American temperate forests. Science, 282, 1271-1272 (1998).

Competing financial interests: declared none.