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Numenius borealis (Eskimo curlew) 1 | by James St. John
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Numenius borealis (Eskimo curlew) 1

Numenius borealis (Forster, 1772) - the eskimo curlew (mount, FMNH 47398, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois, USA).


The curlews are members of Family Scolopacidae - the sandpipers and allies. The eskimo curlew is an extinct species, wiped out by gun nerds in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The last sightings were in the 1960s (possibly into the 2000s). This bird migrated seasonally from southern South America to Arctic Canada and Alaska and the Russian Far-East.


Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Aves, Charadriiformes, Scolopacidae


Birds are small to large, warm-blooded, egg-laying, feathered, bipedal vertebrates capable of powered flight (although some are secondarily flightless). Many scientists characterize birds as dinosaurs, but this is consequence of the physical structure of evolutionary diagrams. Birds aren’t dinosaurs. They’re birds. The logic & rationale that some use to justify statements such as “birds are dinosaurs” is the same logic & rationale that results in saying “vertebrates are echinoderms”. Well, no one says the latter. No one should say the former, either.


However, birds are evolutionarily derived from theropod dinosaurs. Birds first appeared in the Triassic or Jurassic, depending on which avian paleontologist you ask. They inhabit a wide variety of terrestrial and surface marine environments, and exhibit considerable variation in behaviors and diets.


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Taken on June 11, 2010