Document Detail

Tropical hornbills (Aceros cassidix, Aceros undulatus, and Buceros hydrocorax) use ballistic transport to feed with their large beaks.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20140955     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
The most common and plesiomorphic mechanism of food transport in tetrapods is lingual-based. Neognathous birds use this mechanism for exploiting a large diversity of food resources, whereas paleognathous birds use cranioinertial mechanism with or without tongue involvement. Food transport in three hornbills' species (Aceros cassidix, A. undulatus, and Buceros hydrocorax) is defined by a ballistic transport mechanism. Only one transport cycle is used for moving the food from the tip of the beak to the pharynx. The tongue never makes contact with the food nor is it used to expand the buccal cavity. In hornbills, filmed through high-speed video, time to food release occurred between 0.11 and 0.16 sec before time to maximum gape. The ballistic curves show similar patterns. Maximum gape angle is significantly different between the three species. Each species show a different kinematic and motor pattern of head movements associated with ballistic transport. In A. undulatus, head rotation follows a continuous pattern similar to that reported earlier in toucans. A. cassidix rotates head downward at the time of maximum gape to permit food to reach the pharynx without touching the mandible. B. hydrocorax elevates the head along the transport cycle to avoid contact with the food to the cavity of the upper beak. Selection of large food items in the diet may explain the evolutionary trend of using ballistic transport in the feeding behavior of hornbills, which play a key role in tropical forest ecology by dispersing seeds. J. Exp. Zool. 315:72-83, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Sabine Baussart; Vincent Bels
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental zoology. Part A, Ecological genetics and physiology     Volume:  315A     ISSN:  1932-5231     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Zool A Ecol Genet Physiol     Publication Date:  2011 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-02-17     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101297745     Medline TA:  J Exp Zool A Ecol Genet Physiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  72-83     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company.
UMR7179 CNRS, Department Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France.
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