[Taxacom] Woodpeckers: If any got to Madagascar, they were probably too late

Frederick W. Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Thu May 19 10:34:38 CDT 2011


On 5/19/2011 11:09 AM, Robin Leech wrote:
> Hi Fred,
> With which - the wood or the beer, or both?

* they're equally testable, though it may be hard to go back to the 
Pliocene (or whenever) to recover Aussie beer as it was brewed when it 
would have first been encountered by dispersing Picids. But to know when 
we'd need to go back to, the cladograms will have to be calibrated, 
which we're diversely assured can't be done, and maybe modern Picids 
have apomorphic tastes in beer...

Maybe we have to conclude that it's assumptions all the way down.

fred.
=============================================

> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Frederick W. Schueler"
> <bckcdb at istar.ca>
> To: <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:03 AM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Woodpeckers: If any got to Madagascar, they were
> probably too late
>
>
>> On 5/19/2011 9:57 AM, John Grehan wrote:
>>> No, its because they don't like aussie beer!
>>
>> * I see that we've finally gotten to the point in this discussion where
>> we have a testable hypothesis.
>>
>> fred.
>> =====================================================================
>>
>>>
>>> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Robin Leech
>>> Sent: Thu 5/19/2011 12:11 AM
>>> To: Kenneth Kinman; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Woodpeckers: If any got to Madagascar,they
>>> were probably too late
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Well, we know the reason woodpeckers didn't/couldnt survive in
>>> Australia - the wood is too darn hard.
>>> teehee
>>> Robin
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Kenneth Kinman"<kennethkinman at webtv.net>
>>> To:<taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>>> Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 8:28 PM
>>> Subject: [Taxacom] Woodpeckers: If any got to Madagascar,they were
>>> probably
>>> too late
>>>
>>>
>>>> Hi All,
>>>> I was thinking about the failure of woodpeckers to become
>>>> established in Madagascar (or more importantly in Australasia). Again,
>>>> I have to assume competitive exclusion as the major factor.
>>>> Firstly, woodpeckers are certainly not the most migratory groups
>>>> of birds. Compared to song birds in general and various other groups
>>>> which are more migratory, they aren't likely candidates to be early
>>>> dispersers to isolated habitats. Most woodpeckers tend to stay in a
>>>> relatively limited range year-round.
>>>> Furthermore, they are thought to have originated in the northern
>>>> hemisphere, while Passeriformes are thought to have originated in the
>>>> southern hemisphere. Passeriforms thus had the home court advantage in
>>>> the south (even ignoring the fact that they are, as a group, better
>>>> migrators).
>>>> Therefore, once the northern woodpeckers finally reached Africa,
>>>> they probably had a fighting chance in some niches continent-wide.
>>>> However, even if such relative-non-migrators reached Madagascar at all
>>>> (admitedly a possibility given millions of years), a well-entrenched
>>>> fauna of passeriforms, cuckoos, rollers, and other birds would have
>>>> made
>>>> life miserable, if not impossible, for such johnny-come-latelies in
>>>> Madagascar. In the Americas, woodpeckers seem to have had better luck
>>>> diversifying in the extremely diverse environments in South America (at
>>>> least compared to out lying areas in the Old World like Madagascar or
>>>> Australasia).
>>>> As for Australasia, passeriforms were clearly there by the early
>>>> Eocene of Australia, and presumably earlier. If woodpeckers had even
>>>> tried to disperse over the Wallace Line (doubtful for a group not adept
>>>> at migration or rapid expansion), a well-entrenched and diverse
>>>> passeriform population would have most likely eliminated the
>>>> invaders by
>>>> competitive exclusion at various steps of attempted island-hopping. And
>>>> that is not even considering other competitors from other Orders of
>>>> birds, or even pressures from birds of prey or non-bird predators which
>>>> such northern birds would have not evolved much ability to confront.
>>>> Given all of that, I feel little need to worry too much about molecular
>>>> clocks or even sparse fossil records. Woodpeckers probably had little
>>>> chance invading (becoming established in) either Madagascar or even the
>>>> outskirts of Australasia.
>>>> -------------Ken
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
>> --
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
>> Bishops Mills Natural History Centre - http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm
>> Thirty Years Later Expedition -
>> http://fragileinheritance.org/projects/thirty/thirtyintro.htm
>> Longterm ecological monitoring - http://fragileinheritance.org/
>> Daily Paintings - http://karstaddailypaintings.blogspot.com/
>> http://www.doingnaturalhistory.com/
>> http://quietcuratorialtime.blogspot.com/
>> RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
>> on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
>> (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca/
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
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>> _______________________________________________
>>
>> Taxacom Mailing List
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>> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
>>
>> The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of
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>>
>> (1) by visiting http://taxacom.markmail.org
>>
>> (2) a Google search specified as:
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>
>
>


-- 

fred schueler
------------------------------------------------------------
          Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
Bishops Mills Natural History Centre - http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm
now in the field on the Thirty Years Later Expedition -
http://fragileinheritance.org/projects/thirty/thirtyintro.htm
Daily Paintings - http://karstaddailypaintings.blogspot.com/
     RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
   on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
    (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca/
------------------------------------------------------------
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