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Keywords:Animals, Australia, Birds, Brisbane, Photography, Spohr, Wildlife
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Dimensions2765 x 1843
Original file size5.78 MB
Image typeJPEG
Black-backed Butcherbird - Cracticus mentalis

Black-backed Butcherbird - Cracticus mentalis

The black-backed butcherbird was first described by Italian explorers and naturalists Tommaso Salvadori and Luigi D'Albertis in 1876. Although its scientific name translates as "mental noisy bird", the species epithet mentalis refers to its chin not its mind. It is one of six (or seven) members of the genus Cracticus known as butcherbirds. Within the genus, it is most closely related to the grey and silver-backed butcherbirds. The three form a monophyletic group—the subgenus Bulestes— within the genus, having diverged from ancestors of the pied butcherbird around five million years ago. An alternate common name is white-throated butcherbird to distinguish it from the pied butcherbird, which has a black throat. Gregory Mathews described the Australian population as a separate subspecies kempi in 1912, citing less white plumage on the nape and tail. However Amadon did not observe this difference. The butcherbirds, Australian magpie and currawongs were placed in the family Cracticidae in 1914 by John Albert Leach after he had studied their musculature. American ornithologists Charles Sibley and Jon Ahlquist recognised the close relationship between woodswallows and the butcherbirds in 1985, and combined them into a Cracticini clade, which became the family Artamidae.

(Text Source Wikipedia)