The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change
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We investigate the potential water absorption capacity of feathers of sandgrouse (Pteroclididae) by comparative structural analyses of specialised breast and belly feathers. The aim of this research is to develop hypotheses regarding the phylogenetic affinities of the 16 sandgrouse species based on morphological data. Furthermore, the evolution of the water absorption capacities of the different sandgrouse species shall be interpreted phylogentically and ecologically.