Cinnamon Frogmouth or Solomon Islands Frogmouth

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The Cinnamon Frogmouth Rigidipenna inexpectata, also known as the Solomon Islands Frogmouth, is a bird that was first described in 1901 but not recognized as highly distinct until 2007. A team from the Florida Museum of Natural History collected a specimen on Santa Isabel Island (Solomon Islands, South Pacific) in 1998. It is the only known member of the genus Rigidipenna.

The species was discovered by two Florida Museum of Natural History ornithologists, Drs Andrew Kratter and David Steadman, with the aid of local hunters. Steadman states of the find: "This discovery underscores that birds on remote Pacific islands are still poorly known, scientifically speaking."

At first the bird was thought to be a subspecies of the Australian Marbled Frogmouth Podargus ocellatus, until 1998 when Kratter led a successful collecting expedition on Santa Isabel Island (Solomon Islands, South Pacific).

The Cinnamon Frogmouth differs in several ways from other frogmouths, for instance in having only eight tail feathers instead of the more usual ten or twelve, and also in having coarser feathers. It also has barred primary feathers and tail feathers, larger speckles and more pronounced white spots.

Storrs Olson, a senior zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution, states: "That this should prove to be such a distinctive new genus...has profound biogeographical implications and represents a real breakthrough in elucidating the evolutionary history of the family."


Diet / Feeding:

Frogmouths have enormous wide frog-like mouths (hence their name), which they use to capture nocturnal insects with. They also eat worms, slugs and snails; as well as small mammals, reptiles, frogs and small birds.

They have large, horny, triangular, sharply hooked bills.


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