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Sharpbill: Oxyruncidae - Habitat

species taxonomists genus plants

Sharpbills live and breed in humid mountain rainforests at elevations of 1,300 to 5,900 feet (400 to 1,800 meters) above sea level. They are found in both dense forest and along the forest edges. Although they do not migrate, or move seasonally to find food, in the traditional sense, some scientists have reported that they do move down the mountain toward lowland rainforests when they are not breeding.

WHAT IS A TAXONOMIST?

A taxonomist is a scientist who studies the orderly classification of plants and animals. Taxonomists first look to see if two groups of plants or animals can interbreed, produce living offspring. This is the main way to define separate species. Taxonomists also look at the physical and behavioral characteristics a species shares with other species in determining their genus (JEE-nus), the first grouping above individual species, and the family, a grouping of genera (JEN-uh-rah; plural of genus). Today, taxonomists use biochemical and genetic tests to determine the relationship among species, genera, and families. Single species like sharpbills that do not seem to be closely related to any other species provide a challenge for taxonomists. Often they are reclassified several times as more information becomes available.

Sharpbill: Oxyruncidae - Diet [next] [back] Sharpbill: Oxyruncidae - Physical Characteristics

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