Monday, April 23, 2018

New Species Discovered: Meet the Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise

Article Written By: Juliana Zadarko


Image credit: Tim Laman 

Found only in the Bird’s Head or Vogelkop region of New Guinea, the Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise has been officially distinguished as its own unique species. A study led by Dr. Edwin Scholes of Cornell University and Dr. Tim Laman of Harvard University prompted this refinement as it has outlined the unique differences between the newly named species and what is now classified as the greater superb bird-of-paradise.

Dr. Scholes, leader of the Birds-of-Paradise Project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology explains the overwhelming evidence supporting the new classification: “The courtship dance is different. The vocalizations are different. The females look different. Even the shape of the displaying male is different.” For example, expanding on the courtship dance, some of the noted differences included the appearance and shape of the male Vogelkop’s raised cape as well as smoother dance movements.

With this distinction, the Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise is now the fourth endemic bird-of-paradise in the region, highlighting the important biodiversity of the area.

Read more about this fascinating discovery at: 

Read the study at:

View the distinctive dance:

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