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Magpie Goose Species of Bird:

The magpie goose is a species of goose that is considered by evolutionary scientists to be a distinct group and species separate from other members in its genus. Though the obvious commonalities do exist, there are some crucial differences between this and other forms of geese. The appearance of the bird is probably its most distinguishing feature with a color scheme that looks quite like a magpie’s. Experts believe that the goose is a descendent of a common relative to all geese. This is postulated as a bird that existed during a time when the earth and continents looked very different from what they do today in a super continent called gondwana. This supercontinent consisted of what we now know as Africa, the subcontinent, and Australia. The major difference between this goose and others of its ilk are the fact that the bird does not molt completely and doesn’t have a flightless period like other geese.

The bird is quite a noisy neighbor to have around if you live near a swamp in Australia. They produce a characteristic honking sound and will congregate in a complete colony of individuals. What makes the magpie goose really interesting is that it flouts all the regular rules of monogamy and polygamy in bird society. Normally, in monogamous birds, the responsibility of taking care of chicks and roosting lies with both parents and they could either take turns or the male would be the sole provider for the chick and female. In magpie geese, the male might have two mates and a clutch of 16 eggs between the two partners. In this scenario, the trio will then take care of the eggs and the young after that, unlike in other societies where the female would end up being the natural choice for the caregiver. This strategy actually works quite well from a holistic population perspective and has done well to bring the bird back from the brink of extinction.

The bird is considered a member of the endangered species club though it was driven to the point of extinction at one point of time and it was only with a lot of protection that the populations did recover to a substantial level. However, this does not mean that the species is completely delisted from the endangered species list in all parts of Australia with a few districts still outlawing hunting of the birds for game.

 
  Submitted on January 15, 2010  
 
 
 
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