Ethological and acoustical characters of the Chinese grouse(Bonasa sewerzowi), compared with sibling hazel grouse (B. bonasia) andruffed grouse (B. umbellus)

Hazel Grouse (Bonasa Bonasia) Science Article 1


Woodland grouse of the genus Bonasa occur allopatrically in circum-polar temperate and boreal forests. An interspecificcomparison of the size and pattern of eggs, the downy feathers of pulli and other morphological characters in the threespecies suggests convergence in character sets. Yet species-specific differentiation is evident in the color and number of tailfeathers, in signals of territorial advertisement, and in investment for nest-site preparation, mate guarding and caring for thebrood. When ranking specific characters of Bonasa species, the hazel grouse (B. bonasia) shows the richest diversity ofvocalization, while the range-restricted Chinese grouse (B. sewerzowi) appears to be the least varied. Reconstruction of thespeciation of woodland grouse based on morphology, ethology and mitochondrial DNA analysis indicates that the Chinesegrouse seems to represent an archetypal form, not only in the genus Bonasa but for all tetraonids worldwide.

Wolfgang Scherzinger, Siegfried Klaus, Sun Yue-Hua, Fang Yun, Acta Zoologica Sinica 52(Supplement): 293-297, 2006

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