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"Rodent-Run" Distraction Display By a Passerine, the Superb Blue Wren Malurus Cyaneus (L.)

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image of Behaviour

Distraction-display as performed by the Superb Blue Wren, Malurus cyaneus, takes the form of a true "rodent-run" and is stimulated by the alarm call of the young; this display is described and illustrated. Both male and female perform, although the colouring of only the latter resembles that of a small mammal. The display in other, related, spe:ies is discussed, and it is postulated that it may be a generic characteristic developed before sexual dimorphism and speciation were manifest.

Affiliations: 1: (Wildlife Survey Section, C.S.I.R.O., Canberra, Australia


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