439 pages, Figs, maps, illus, tabs
This book, the first monograph in English on the 14 Palearctic wheatear species, contains a thorough analysis of the co-ordinated evolution of their main morphological and behavioural features. As most of the species inhabit arid landscapes, the author has been able to present a wide ranging comparative discussion about how these remarkable birds adapt to an existence in extreme desert conditions. Some have expanded their ranges into temperate zone and even subarctic landscapes and the book describes how their life strategies have changed accordingly. Also examined, all within the framework of an integral system of adaptation, are evolutionary trends affecting changes in body size and plumage coloration, foraging behaviour, breeding dispersion, motor signal behaviour and vocalizations. Special attention is paid to the development of signal and communication behaviour in groups of closely related species at different stages of their divergent evolution.
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