The jabiru: a long-legged kingfisher, not a stork

Or maybe
kingfishers (genus: Megaceryle, Fig. 1) are just neotonous (juvenile-like) jabirus (genus: Jabiru, Figs. 2, 3). Certainly the jabiru, with its solid beak, ventrally convex jawline and high small naris, are not like other storks.

Figure 1. Megaceryle, the belted kingfisher may be a neotonous jabiru (genus: Jabiru).

Figure 1. Megaceryle, the belted kingfisher may be a neotonous jabiru (genus: Jabiru).

Megaceryle alcyon (Linneaus 1758), the extant belted kingfisher, had an enlarged beak on an enlarged skull with a shorter neck. As in parrots, by convergence, the nares have migrated back to the orbit.

Figure 2. Jabiru, a giant, long-legged kingfisher, not a stork.

Figure 2. Jabiru, a giant, long-legged kingfisher, not a stork.

Jabiru mycteria (Lichtenstein 1819) was a stork-like kingfisher nesting between the stilt/hummingbird clade and the murre/penguin clade (what variety!) Note the high small naris on the ventrally convex rostrum, as in the belted kingfisher.

Figure 3. Skeleton and in vivo views of Jabiru.

Figure 3. Skeleton and in vivo views of Jabiru.

If this turns out to be a case of convergence,
and it might… that will come with the addition of more taxa. We’ll see…

References
Lichtenstein H 1819. Archives of Natural History, Volume 35(1):88-99.
Linnaeus C 1758. Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.

wiki/Megaceryle
/wiki/Jabiru

 

 

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