At 09:01 12/01/2000 +1000, you wrote:
>As part of a study I am conducting I require some morphological
>measurements on a number of Australian birds. If any one knows
>of where I could obtain such information I would appreciate it.
>The type of measurements I am interested in are:
> Wingspan: the extreme tip-to-tip distance with the wings
> spread to the maximum extent
> Wing Area: the projected area of both wings including the
> area of body between the wings
>or alternatively and prefered:
> Aspect ratio or Wing loading
>but information on other species would also be useful.
>Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre
These are not standard measurements of birds so you are unlikely to find them in
most reference books on birds.
However, I would go to your local museum and see what specimens they might have
with wings outspread. I know the Queensland Museum, and probably others, are
preserving more specimens like this so that the wing patterns are more visible
and so that functional studies, like yours, can be undertaken.
While we're on this can I make a plug for people to take fresh specimens in to
their local museum. The days of collecting/shooting birds for museum
are largely over but road/window/cat/ etc kills can make valuable
Anyone who has tried to do serious studies on morphology will know that you
have too many specimens.
In the past most specimens were prepared as standard "study skins" but today
are prepared in a variety of ways - skeletons, wings, in spirits, for DNA, etc.
Don't forget that the wonderful pictures and detailed descriptions of plumage,
moult, morphology, etc that we see in the field guides and handbooks
(HANZAB, HBW, etc)
are largely based on museum specimens.
Pete (an ex-Hon. Keeper of Ornithology, getting off his hobby horse)
Dr Peter Woodall email =
Division of Vet Pathology & Anatomy
School of Veterinary Science. Phone = +61 7 3365 2300
The University of Queensland Fax = +61 7 3365 1355
Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4072 WWW = http://www.uq.edu.au/~anpwooda
"hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)
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