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Tuesday, May 17, 2022 4pm to 5pm

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A curator’s perspective on the evolutionary morphology and paleoecology of birds. . . in which we first consider the evolutionary morphology of the head in the adaptive radiation of Hawaiian Honeycreepers, including how internal structures, such as a tubular tongue and retroarticular process of the mandible, evolve in concert with the evolution of external beak shape. We then discuss the Quaternary paleontology of the honeycreepers and other Hawaiian birds in relationship to our understanding of extinction risk in the Anthropocene. Finally, we briefly discuss upcoming research on the problem of how to pack an embryo into an egg, and the constraints that egg size and shape may pose to ontogenetic growth patterns in birds. The objective of this informal talk is not to review prior research but to stimulate collaborative thinking about research projects that have not yet been tackled.

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