This week’s update from Cristalino Jungle Lodge takes the form of a series of photos of one of my favorite birds, the Sunbittern.
I’m blown away by taxonomic oddities such as the monotypic family (containing just one species) Eurypygidae. Based on recently analyzed genetic evidence, it and the Kagu from New Caledonia were removed from the clumsy giant order Gruiformes and placed in their own order, Eurypygiformes. One order, two families, two species, and an entire hemisphere apart. Hooray for plate tectonics.
I’ve been guiding lots of guests at Cristalino Jungle Lodge lately, and since everyone gets to see Sunbittern, I try to get them equally fascinated with this species – not only its taxonomy but also its mind-blowing wing pattern, visible only when it flies. It never fails to please.