A Woodpecker Disguised as… Another Woodpecker?


Elizabeth Explains

Dryocopus_galeatus_-_Helmeted_Woodpecker_(female)

The Helmeted Woodpecker has a secret: despite the fact that it looks like a smaller version of the Lineated and Robust Woodpeckers, it’s actually from an entirely different family! This wasn’t merely a case of parallel evolution: in a recent paper published in The Auk, Ornithological Advances, a trio of scientists argue that the woodpecker has “disguised” itself in order to escape bullying by larger woodpecker species.

Read all about it in my article for Audubon!

Image credit: Hector Bottai, Wikimedia Commons.

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About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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