Does The Beak Size Of Probosciger Affect Its Foraging Success?

1222 WordsNov 22, 20165 Pages
Does the beak size of Probosciger aterrimus affect its foraging success? Introduction: Probosciger aterrimus, also known as the palm cockatoo, goliath cockatoo, and great black cockatoo, is a large black parrot of the Cacatuide family (White et al. 2011). The cockatoo Probosciger aterrimus is often found in New Guinea, Aru Islands and Cape York Peninsula. A bird’s beak not only allows it to eat, but also to groom and feed its offspring. Proboscigar aterrimus has a long, pointed and curved black beak that exceeds past its mouth. The mouth always remains slightly open, as the lower beak meets its top beak only at the tip. Its beak is so massive that it exceeds the average beak sizes of much larger species. The only species out of the parrot tribe with a larger beak is the Hyacinth Macaw, also known as the Anodorynchus hyachinthinus (Mulawka 179). An observation by Wood (1988) states that the Probosciger aterrimus is often seen feeding on various seeds, leaf buds, fruits, such as the kernels of the Nonda Plum Panarian nonda. Other important food items include the fruits of Pandanus species, Grevillea glauca and the seeds of Persoona falcota. The species’ beak allows the species to sufficiently remove the shells of nuts that are difficult to break (Mulawka 2013). Grant and Grant (2002) argue that the phenotypic variation in regards to a bird’s beak is due to environmental differences, and the food resources that are available within the particular
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