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Gadfly Petrels
File:Pterodroma hasitataPCCA20070623-3608B.jpg
Black-capped Petrel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neoaves
Order: Procellariiformes
Family: Procellariidae
Genus: Pterodroma
Bonaparte, 1856
Species

About 35, see text.

Diversity
[[List of gadfly petrels|1 Genus and 33 Species]]

The gadfly petrels are seabirds in the bird order Procellariiformes. These medium to large petrels feed on food items picked from the ocean surface.

The short, sturdy bills of the Pterodroma species in this group, about 35 altogether, are adapted for soft prey taken at the surface; they have twisted intestines for digesting marine animals which have unusual biochemistries.

Their complex wing and face marking are probably for interspecific recognition.

These birds nest in colonies on islands and are pelagic when not breeding. One white egg is laid usually in a burrow or on open ground. They are nocturnal at the breeding colonies.

Species in taxonomic order

The taxonomy of the gadfly petrels is being reformed at the moment. Several genera have been split off over time, as they are closer to the procellarine and Puffinus shearwaters. Some subspecies have been raised to full species rank. The arrangement given here is traditional, but annotates the changes proposed by Austin (1998) and Bretagnolle et al. (1998). For the current taxonomy, see also Brooke (2004).

A Pleistocene fossil from Aldabra, Indian Ocean, was described as Pterodroma kurodai. Biogeographically, it could belong into any genus.

Footnotes

References

  • Austin, Jeremy J. (1996): Molecular Phylogenetics of Puffinus Shearwaters: Preliminary Evidence from Mitochondrial Cytochrome b Gene Sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 6(1): 77–88 doi:10.1006/mpev.1996.0060 (HTML abstract)
  • Bretagnolle, V., Attié, C., Pasquet, E., (1998) "Cytochrome-B evidence for validity and phylogenetic relationships of Pseudobulweria and Bulweria (Procellariidae)" Auk 115(1):188-195 PDf fulltext
  • Brooke, M. (2004): Albatrosses and Petrels Across the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 0-19-850125-0
  • Onley, Derek and Paul Scofield (2007) Albatrosses, Petrels and Shearwaters of the World Helm Field Guides ISBN 978-971-36-4332-9


Wrybill This article is part of Project Bird Subfamilies, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each bird subfamily, including made-up families.
Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
Hemipus picatus This article is part of Project Bird Taxonomy, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every order, family and other taxonomic rank related to birds.
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