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Tuesday Tetrapod: Lophophorus impejanus

Posted by tigerhawkvok on January 27, 2010 01:09 in tuesday tetrapod

And for the second tetrapod this week, I introduce Lophophorus impejanus, or the Himalayan Monal:

L. impejanus

Male L. impejanus. Photo by Flickr user poplinre

The Himalayan Monal is a phasianid galliform (my phylogeny of birds is not well resolved in galloanserae [galliformes or anseriformes] — help out if you can!), with a number of the associated trappings (ground nesting, medium size, etc) of pheasants. L. impejanus weighs 1.5-2.5 kg, and is reasonably sized at ~67cm in length. It lives in open coniferous forests in the Himalayan region, 2100-4500 m in elevation.

L. impejanus

Female L. impejanus. Note the extreme dimorphism in color. Photo from the Wikimedia Commons.

The males are very evidently highly sexually dimorphic to females, having bright, iridescent feathers with a crest. Their median weight is also about 200g heavier than the females. L. impejanus is the national bird of Nepal, and as such, and due to its habitat, is not threatened. It is rated by the IUCN as least concern, having a large, stable, widespread population.


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