The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Rictal bristles in birds



Quick facts

Project title: 
A comparative analysis of rictal bristles in birds
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 


This is a comparative analysis of the occurrence and structure of avian rictal bristles in more than 30 different bird families. Rictal bristles apparently evolved convergently in many different bird families without necessarily having the same function. Using light and electron microscopy, we analyze the microstructure of rictal bristles in specimens of the ornithological collection at the Museum Koenig. The aim of this project is to interpret phylogenetically and ecologically the occurrence of rictal bristles among different bird families.


Contact person

Head of Section Ornithology
Deputy Head of Department Vertebrata
+49 228 9122-246
+49 228 9122-212
t.toepfer [at]