New Bird of Paradise Species Has Smooth Dance Moves
To woo a female, this bird flips up his cape, puffs out his chest, and shimmies his little feet.
It's hard to find a more superb bird than the superb bird of paradise.
Males have an elaborate courtship ritual during which they spread out their black cape until only a bright blue breast plate and blue eyes are visible in an all-absorbing blackness.
Then he puts on a dance, moving around a female in semi-circle motions until she's wooed.
Until recently, scientists thought the superb bird was unique among the 43 birds of paradise that comprise the family Paradisaeidae. But in a new paper in the journal PeerJ , ornithologist Edwin Scholes and photographer Tim Laman detail a new addition: the Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise.
A combination of fieldwork and museum analysis led to the conclusion that the Vogelkop