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THE SKULL OF THE PERUVIAN BOOBY SULA VARIEGATA (AVES, SULIDAE)

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Author(s): MARCELO STUCCHI

Journal: The Biologist (Lima)
ISSN 1816-0719

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 15;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: morphometrics | osteology | Peru | Peruvian booby | skull

ABSTRACT
This paper describes the morphology of the skull of the Peruvian booby Sula variegata (Tschudi, 1845), considering its ontogeny, and compared with other species of the family Sulidae and, similarly, with other families of the traditional order Pelecaniformes: Phalacrocoracidae, Anhingidae, Fregatidae, Phaetonthidae and Pelecanidae. In the comparisons could be found characteristics which the Peruvian booby shares with other members of Sulidae, and others that, taken together, distinguish it from other species of the genus Sula. Among the former are: (1) during ontogenetic development, they change the proportions between the rostrum and thebraincase, stretching the first and reducing the height of the second. (2) The skulls have a nasal opening in their early stages of development, which is completely closed with the growth of the bird. The respiratory function moves to a space that is below the pre-orbital fenestra and the jugal, which is protected by ranfoteca. (3) Adult individuals present a trabecular space in the inner part of the upper jaw and frontals that confers resistance to the skull. All these features allow the Sulidae to prevent the rupture or buckling of the skull under the force of the impact of the plunge. In the second case there are: (1) cranial roof slightly vaulted over the orbits; (2) Sagittal crest generally narrow, although wide in some individuals; (3) Short temporal region; (4) Straight proximal rostrum in front of the naso-frontal suture.
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