Prion (bird)


Prion (bird)

Taxobox
name = Prions


image_width = 250px
image_caption = Broad-billed Prion
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Procellariiformes
familia = Procellariidae
genus = "Pachyptila"
genus_authority = Illiger, 1811
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision =
Fairy Prion, "P. turtur"
Slender-billed Prion, "P. belcheri"
Fulmar Prion, "P. crassirostris"
Broad-billed Prion, "P. vittata"
Antarctic Prion, "P. desolata"
Salvin's Prion, "P. salvin"
The prions are small petrels in the genus "Pachyptila". Together with the Blue Petrel, they form one of the four groups within the Procellariidae (also referred to as the prions), along with the gadfly petrels, shearwaters and fulmarine petrels.

They are found in the Southern Ocean and breed on a number of subantarctic islands. Prions grow 20-27 cm long, and have blue-grey upperparts and white underparts. Three species of prion have flattened bills with a fringe of lamellae that act as strainers. All prions are marine and feed on small crustacea such as copepods, ostracods, decapods, and krill, as well as some fish such as myctophids and nototheniids.

List of species

Genus "Pachyptila"
* Fairy Prion, "P. turtur"
* Slender-billed Prion, "P. belcheri"
* Fulmar Prion, "P. crassirostris"
* Broad-billed Prion, "P. vittata"
* Antarctic Prion, "P. desolata"
* Salvin's Prion, "P. salvin"

In addition, fossil remains of some hitherto undescribed prehistoric species have been found. The oldest is from the Late Miocene (Tortonian, some 12-7 million years ago) of the Bahía Inglesa Formation in Chile.

References

*Cherel, Y., Bocher, P., De Broyer, C., Hobson, K.A., (2002) "Food and feeding ecology of the sympatric thin-billed "Pachyptila belcheri" and Antarctic "P. desolata" prions at Iles Kerguelen, Southern Indian Ocean" "Marine Ecology Progress Series" 228: 263–281 [http://www.cephdev.utmb.edu/refdb/pdf/7926.pdf]

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3961069.stm Antarctic Prion homes on their life mate through smell]


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