Date of Award:

1967

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Biology

Department name when degree awarded

Wildlife Biology

Advisor/Chair:

J. B. Low

Abstract

The black-bellied tree duck (Dendracygna autumnal is) 1 is one of eight tree ducks (whistling ducks) in the genus Dendracygna . This group shares enough characteris tics--reticulated tarsus and symmetrical syrinx structure, among others--with the swans and geese Ia warrant a cam man subfamily, Anserinae of the waterfowl family Anatidae. De Iacour and Mayr ( 1945) make a tribal distinction, however, between the tree ducks (Dendracygnini) and the swans and geese (Anserini) based, in part, an differences in size, vertebrae number, and downy plumage . These same authors remark that the tree ducks are the leas t known of the waterfowl largely because there are no life history studies for any of the species. Of the two species found in the continental United States, the fulvous (_Q . bicolor) and black-bellied tree ducks , the ecology of the last named seemed singularly unknown.

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