The bay owls are a genus of barn owls that make up the subfamily Phodilinae. The genus Phodilus was erected by the French zoologist Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1830; the name is from the Ancient Greek phōs for "light" or "daylight" and deilos for "timid" or "cowardly". Most classification schemes recognize three extant species in this genus: Bay owls appear similar to other barn owls. Bay owls can be found in central Africa, from the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia and the Indonesian archipelago. Pycraft, W. P.. "On the Pterylography of Photodilus". Ibis. 45: 36–48. Doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1903.tb03917.x. Bruce, M. D.: Family Tytonidae. In: del Hoyo, J.. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-25-3 Media related to Phodilus at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Phodilus at Wikispecies
A forest is a large area dominated by trees. Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function. According to the used Food and Agriculture Organization definition, forests covered 4 billion hectares or 30 percent of the world's land area in 2006. Forests are the dominant terrestrial ecosystem of Earth, are distributed around the globe. Forests account for 75% of the gross primary production of the Earth's biosphere, contain 80% of the Earth's plant biomass. Net primary production is estimated at 21.9 gigatonnes carbon per year for tropical forests, 8.1 for temperate forests, 2.6 for boreal forests. Forests at different latitudes and elevations form distinctly different ecozones: boreal forests near the poles, tropical forests near the equator and temperate forests at mid-latitudes. Higher elevation areas tend to support forests similar to those at higher latitudes, amount of precipitation affects forest composition.
Human society and forests influence each other in both negative ways. Forests serve as tourist attractions. Forests can affect people's health. Human activities, including harvesting forest resources, can negatively affect forest ecosystems. Although forest is a term of common parlance, there is no universally recognised precise definition, with more than 800 definitions of forest used around the world. Although a forest is defined by the presence of trees, under many definitions an area lacking trees may still be considered a forest if it grew trees in the past, will grow trees in the future, or was designated as a forest regardless of vegetation type. There are three broad categories of forest definitions in use: administrative, land use, land cover. Administrative definitions are based upon the legal designations of land, bear little relationship to the vegetation growing on the land: land, designated as a forest is defined as a forest if no trees are growing on it. Land use definitions are based upon the primary purpose.
For example, a forest may be defined as any land, used for production of timber. Under such a land use definition, cleared roads or infrastructure within an area used for forestry, or areas within the region that have been cleared by harvesting, disease or fire are still considered forests if they contain no trees. Land cover definitions define forests based upon the type and density of vegetation growing on the land; such definitions define a forest as an area growing trees above some threshold. These thresholds are the number of trees per area, the area of ground under the tree canopy or the section of land, occupied by the cross-section of tree trunks. Under such land cover definitions, an area of land can only be known as forest if it is growing trees. Areas that fail to meet the land cover definition may be still included under while immature trees are establishing if they are expected to meet the definition at maturity. Under land use definitions, there is considerable variation on where the cutoff points are between a forest and savanna.
Under some definitions, forests require high levels of tree canopy cover, from 60% to 100%, excluding savannas and woodlands in which trees have a lower canopy cover. Other definitions consider savannas to be a type of forest, include all areas with tree canopies over 10%; some areas covered in trees are defined as agricultural areas, e.g. Norway spruce plantations in Austrian forest law when the trees are being grown as Christmas trees and below a certain height; the word forest comes from Middle English, from Old French forest "forest, vast expanse covered by trees". A borrowing of the Medieval Latin word foresta "open wood", foresta was first used by Carolingian scribes in the Capitularies of Charlemagne to refer to the king's royal hunting grounds; the term was not endemic to Romance languages. The exact origin of Medieval Latin foresta is obscure; some authorities claim the word derives from the Late Latin phrase forestam silvam, meaning "the outer wood". Frankish *forhist is attested by Old High German forst "forest", Middle Low German vorst "forest", Old English fyrhþ "forest, game preserve, hunting ground", Old Norse fýri "coniferous forest", all of which derive from Proto-Germanic *furhísa-, *furhíþija- "a fir-wood, coniferous forest", from Proto-Indo-European *perkwu- "a coniferous or mountain forest, wooded height".
Uses of the word "forest" in English to denote any uninhabited area of non-enclosure are now considered archaic. The word was introduced by the Norman rulers of England as a legal term denoting an uncultivated area set aside for hunting by feudal nobility; these hunting forests were not neces
Fossilworks is a portal which provides query and analysis tools to facilitate access to the Paleobiology Database, a large relational database assembled by hundreds of paleontologists from around the world. Fossilworks is housed at Macquarie University, it includes many analysis and data visualization tools included in the Paleobiology Database. "Fossilworks". Retrieved 2010-04-08
Tyto pollens known as the Andros Island barn owl, Bahamian barn owl, Bahamian great owl, or Chickcharney, is an extinct, 1 metre tall, burrow-nesting, flightless barn owl that lived in the old-growth pineyards of Andros Island in the Bahamas. When the island was colonised by Europeans and their slaves in the 16th century, the owls coexisted with them until the forests were felled; the destruction of the original forests may have led to the extinction of the species. Some scholars have suggested that T. pollens may have inspired the legend of the Chickcharney, a mischievous, bird-like dwarf said to inhabit the forests of Andros. According to legend the Chickcharney has red, glowing eyes, three-toed feet, a head that could rotate in any direction. Grallistrix Ornimegalonyx Late Quaternary prehistoric birds List of extinct birds List of fossil birds Flightless birds
The Sophiornithidae are an extinct family of chicken-sized predatory birds that lived from the Paleocene to the Eocene periods of the Cenozoic, were found in Europe, are thought to be primitive owls. The French genera Berruornis, as well as Palaeotyto and Palaeobyas from Quercy, are sometimes placed in this family; the latter might instead be barn-owls, while the first might be a basal owl but not an actual sophiornithid. Strigogyps was placed here for a time, but it has been revised several times since and appears to be an ameghinornitid. Peters, Dieter Stefan: Ein "Phorusrhacidae" aus dem Mittel-Eozän von Messel. Documents des Laboratoires de Géologie de Lyon 99: 71-87
Feathers are epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds, other extinct species of dinosaurs, pterosaurs. They are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates and a premier example of a complex evolutionary novelty, they are among the characteristics. Although feathers cover most of the bird's bodies, they arise only from certain well-defined tracts on the skin, they aid in flight, thermal insulation, waterproofing. In addition, coloration helps in protection. Plumology is the name for the science, associated with the study of feathers. Feathers are among the most complex integumentary appendages found in vertebrates and are formed in tiny follicles in the epidermis, or outer skin layer, that produce keratin proteins; the β-keratins in feathers and claws — and the claws and shells of reptiles — are composed of protein strands hydrogen-bonded into β-pleated sheets, which are further twisted and crosslinked by disulfide bridges into structures tougher than the α-keratins of mammalian hair and hoof.
The exact signals that induce the growth of feathers on the skin are not known, but it has been found that the transcription factor cDermo-1 induces the growth of feathers on skin and scales on the leg. There are two basic types of feather: vaned feathers which cover the exterior of the body, down feathers which are underneath the vaned feathers; the pennaceous feathers are vaned feathers. Called contour feathers, pennaceous feathers arise from tracts and cover the entire body. A third rarer type of feather, the filoplume, is hairlike and are associated with contour feathers and are entirely hidden by them, with one or two filoplumes attached and sprouting from near the same point of the skin as each contour feather, at least on a bird's head and trunk. In some passerines, filoplumes arise exposed beyond the contour feathers on the neck; the remiges, or flight feathers of the wing, rectrices, the flight feathers of the tail are the most important feathers for flight. A typical vaned feather features a main shaft, called the rachis.
Fused to the rachis are a series of branches, or barbs. These barbules have minute hooks called barbicels for cross-attachment. Down feathers are fluffy because they lack barbicels, so the barbules float free of each other, allowing the down to trap air and provide excellent thermal insulation. At the base of the feather, the rachis expands to form the hollow tubular calamus which inserts into a follicle in the skin; the basal part of the calamus is without vanes. This part is embedded within the skin follicle and has an opening at the base and a small opening on the side. Hatchling birds of some species have a special kind of natal down feathers which are pushed out when the normal feathers emerge. Flight feathers are stiffened so as to work against the air in the downstroke but yield in other directions, it has been observed that the orientation pattern of β-keratin fibers in the feathers of flying birds differs from that in flightless birds: the fibers are better aligned along the shaft axis direction towards the tip, the lateral walls of rachis region show structure of crossed fibers.
Feathers insulate birds from water and cold temperatures. They may be plucked to line the nest and provide insulation to the eggs and young; the individual feathers in the wings and tail play important roles in controlling flight. Some species have a crest of feathers on their heads. Although feathers are light, a bird's plumage weighs two or three times more than its skeleton, since many bones are hollow and contain air sacs. Color patterns serve as camouflage against predators for birds in their habitats, serve as camouflage for predators looking for a meal; as with fish, the top and bottom colors may be different, in order to provide camouflage during flight. Striking differences in feather patterns and colors are part of the sexual dimorphism of many bird species and are important in selection of mating pairs. In some cases there are differences in the UV reflectivity of feathers across sexes though no differences in color are noted in the visible range; the wing feathers of male club-winged manakins Machaeropterus deliciosus have special structures that are used to produce sounds by stridulation.
Some birds have a supply of powder down feathers which grow continuously, with small particles breaking off from the ends of the barbules. These particles produce a powder that sifts through the feathers on the bird's body and acts as a waterproofing agent and a feather conditioner. Powder down has evolved independently in several taxa and can be found in down as well as in pennaceous feathers, they may be scattered in plumage as in the pigeons and parrots or in localized patches on the breast, belly, or flanks, as in herons and frogmouths. Herons use their bill to break the powder down feathers and to spread them, while cockatoos may use their head as a powder puff to apply the powder. Waterproofing can be lost by exposure to emulsifying agents due to human pollution. Feathers can become waterlogged, causing the bird to sink, it is very difficult to clean and rescue birds whose feathers have been fouled by oil spills. The feathers of cormorants soak up water and help to reduce buoyancy, thereby allowing the birds to swim submerged.
Bristles are stiff. Rictal bristles are found around bill, they may serve a similar purpose to e
The family Procellariidae is a group of seabirds that comprises the fulmarine petrels, the gadfly petrels, the prions, the shearwaters. This family is part of the bird order Procellariiformes, which includes the albatrosses, the storm petrels, the diving petrels; the procellariids are the most numerous family of tubenoses, the most diverse. They range in size from the giant petrels, which are as large as the albatrosses, to the prions, which are as small as the larger storm petrels, they feed on fish and crustacea, with many taking fisheries discards and carrion. All species are accomplished long-distance foragers, many undertake long trans-equatorial migrations, they are colonial breeders, exhibiting long-term mate site philopatry. In all species, each pair lays a single egg per breeding season, their incubation times and chick-rearing periods are exceptionally long compared to other birds. Many procellariids have breeding populations of over several million pairs. Humans have traditionally exploited several species of fulmar and shearwater for food and bait, a practice that continues in a controlled fashion today.
Several species are threatened by introduced species attacking adults and chicks in breeding colonies and by long-line fisheries. The family Procellariidae was introduced by the English zoologist William Elford Leach in a guide to the contents of the British Museum published in 1820. According to the famous DNA hybridization study into avian phylogenetic relationships by Sibley and Ahlquist, the split of the Procellariiformes into the four families occurred around 30 million years ago; the molecular evidence suggests that the storm petrels were the first to diverge from the ancestral stock, the albatrosses next, with the procellariids and diving petrels splitting most recently. Many taxonomists used to retain the diving petrels in this family but today their distinctiveness is considered well supported. However, modern procellariid genera began to appear just as early as the proposed splitting of the family, with a Rupelian fossil from Belgium tentatively attributed to the shearwater genus Puffinus, most modern genera were established by the Miocene.
Thus, a basal radiation of the Procellariiformes in the Eocene at least seems especially given that significant anomalies in molecular evolution rates and patterns have been discovered in the entire family, molecular dates must be considered tentative. Some genera are only known from fossils. Eopuffinus from the Late Paleocene is sometimes placed in the Procellariidae, but its placement in the Procellariiformes is quite doubtful. Sibley and Ahlquist's taxonomy has included all the members of the Procellariiformes inside the Procellariidae and that family in an enlarged Ciconiiformes, but this change has not been accepted; the procellariid family is broken up into four distinct groups. The fulmarine petrels include the largest procellariids, the giant petrels, as well as the two fulmar species, the snow petrel, the Antarctic petrel, the Cape petrel; the fulmarine petrels are a diverse group with differing habits and appearances, but are linked morphologically by their skull features the long prominent nasal tubes.
The gadfly petrels, so named due to their helter-skelter flight, are the 37 species in the genus Pterodroma and have traditionally included the two species in the genus Bulweria. The species vary from small to medium sizes, 26–46 cm, are long winged with short hooked bills; the genus Pterodroma is now split into four sub genera, some species have been split out of the genus. The prions comprise six species of true prion in the genus Pachyptila and the related blue petrel. Known in the past as whalebirds, three species have large bills filled with lamellae that they use to filter plankton somewhat as baleen whales do, though the old name derives from their association with whales, not their bills, they are small procellariids, 25–30 cm, with grey, patterned plumage, all inhabiting the Southern Ocean. The shearwaters are adapted for diving after prey instead of foraging on the ocean's surface; the shearwaters are well known for the long trans-equatorial migrations undertaken by many species. The shearwaters include the 20 or so species of the genus Puffinus, as well as the five large Procellaria species and the three Calonectris species.
While all these three genera are known collectively as shearwaters, the Procellaria are called petrels in their common names. A recent study splits the shearwater genus Puffinus into two separate clades or subgroups and Neonectris. Puffinus are the'smaller' Puffinus shearwaters, the Neonectris are the'larger' Puffinus shearwaters; this split into two clades is thought to have occurred soon after Puffinus split from the other procellariids, with the genus originating in the north Atlantic Ocean and the Neonectris clade evolving in the Southern Hemisphere. The mo