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Auk Editor Pick - Swamphens Signal Dominance Through Fleshy Faces


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What’s in a face? In addition to their plumage, Pūkeko—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 Pūkeko is the size of their frontal shield, a fleshy ornament on their bill that can change quickly. Read the press release at https://americanornithologypubsblog.org/2017/01/18/swamphens-signal-dominance-through-fleshy-faces/.

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