Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.28(1). (2020) p.104-120.

Skull morphometric characters in parrots (Psittaciformes)
Tibor Pecsics, Miklós Laczi, Gergely Nagy, Tamás Kondor & Tibor Csörgő

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Parrots (Psittaciformes) are a unique and diverse avian group and vary tremendously in size, shape, and colour. Mainly distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics, most species of parrots are largely or exclusively arboreal with several exceptions. The species also differ in diet and habitat, which led to different musculoskeletal adaptations of the skull. However, parrots have conspicuous generalized external features; in this recent study, we tried to increase our knowledge of the cranial shape and foraging habits. A geometric morphometric approach was used to analyse two-dimensional cranial landmarks. We used principal component (PC) analyses on measurements that may be related to diet. The PCs described the relative height of the cranium, the relative length and curvature of the beak, differences in the orientation and curvature of the lacrimal bone and the upper margin of orbits, variation in the size and position of the palatine bone and the relative width of the cranium, and variation in the relative size of the neurocranium compared to the viscerocranium. The dietary categories overlap in the morphospace but the analysis in lateral and ventral view resulted in significant differences.