Bird Families

The oldest rock art of Australian aborigines found in the northwest of the continent

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"border =" 0 "alt =" Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus Pallas, 1773). “The largest bird of its kind and even larger than a crane, the standing one will be four feet high. The nose is larger than a crane, similar in appearance, red, the edges at the jaws are jagged towards the end. The face is bare even behind the eyes, wrinkled red with frequent red bristles. The eyes are pale. The body is all covered with white feathers, the scruff of the young is yellower. In the wings there are only ten first regular feathers with the upper black feathers lying on them.The feathers on the shoulder blades are not as long as those of the common crane. The tail is almost even, consisting of 12 wide, similar feathers to the rest of the body. The legs are high, red, like cranes. Inhabits extensive swamps and fields with abundant lakes near Ishim, Irtysh, Ob, also in the north. Nests in impenetrable reeds over bumps, inflicts a lot of grasses and various squabbles, lays eggs in two, like goose, grayish with frequent dark specks. It often screams like a swan, especially when it rises from its place, feeds on frogs, fish, lizards ”(Pallas, 1786: 517-518). Watercolor by H. Geisler. PFA RAS, first publication "/>

Nevertheless, soon in the next project he predicted that "Eastern Siberia promises to give infinitely many interesting information regarding botany and natural history" (ibid., P. 140). Probably, in the first case, the fatigue from the hardships of the recent expedition affected, in the second - the comprehension of its results. The experience of the past two and a half centuries has confirmed the correctness of Pallas's last statement, and the value of the most accurate field observations prompts modern researchers to still analyze the essence of his methodology.

The article was published based on the results of a project supported by a grant from the Russian Humanitarian Science Foundation 05-03-03133а

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