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Swamphens signal dominance through fleshy faces


PhysOrg

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What's in a face? In addition to their plumage, Pukeko—large purple swamphens found in New Zealand—convey information about their status through their faces. A new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances shows that the strongest predictor of male dominance in Pukeko is the size of their frontal shield, a fleshy ornament on their bill that can change quickly.

 

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