Wednesday 5 June 2013

Long-wattled Umbrellabird

When Justin Beiber goes crazy and has repeated cosmetic surgery to turn himself into a floppy-haired black man with a long beard, he'll look just like this.

The Long-wattled Umbrellabird is a ludicrous creature from Colombia and Ecuador, where it hangs around in the rainforests on the western slopes of the Andes.

Image: Francesco Veronesi
It's like looking up a man's kilt...
Males reach up 50 cm (20 in) long and have a floppy crest that curls forward all the way down to their beak. However, they really get their name from a huge, inflatable wattle that dangles from their throat. It can be almost as long the entire bird!

In the breeding season, male chauvinists gather together in groups known as leks, where they all begin displaying to any females who may come by.

Their display is full of crest-raising, grunting and wattle-swinging. Probably the strangest bit is when they open out the feathers on their wattle, it looks like a pretty good feather-duster!

Image: patries71
Males don't do any dusting, though. In fact, once the female has chosen the fella of her weird, dingle-dangle dreams and they've had their way with each other, the male doesn't do anything at all!

It's up to her to build the nest, incubate the eggs and gather all the fruit, insects, reptiles and amphibians they need to grow.

Image: Hectonichus
He just doesn't want to mess up his hair.


TexWisGirl said...

no, no, no!!!


Joseph JG said...

I can't disagree more!

Yes, yes, yes!!!


Unknown said...

Looks like the exaggerated pompadour hairstyle isn't just popular among Japanese biker gangs but is popular among these birds too.

Joseph JG said...

Wow, I had to look up those Japanese biker gangs. Glad I did! It's crazy in Japan, they seem to take subcultures from all over the world and turn them all up a notch.