No evolutionary convergence in vertebrate-eating vertebrates between Australia and southern Africa

(writing in progress)

To make intercontinental comparison as rigorous as possible, I chose study areas carefully matched in climates, landforms and soils: Fitzgerald River National Park and its environs in Western Australia and Agulhas National Park and its environs in South Africa (see

The following is my arrangement of intercontinental counterparts.

No counterpart in study area on other continent:

This category represents complete failure either to converge or to recruit suitable candidate.

present in southern African study area

Panthera pardus
Hyaena brunnea
Lycaon pictus
Vulpes chama
Felis libyca
Herpestes pulverulentus
Sagittarius serpentarius
Ardea melanocephala
Bubo capensis rare
Gyps coprotheres
Prosymna sundevalli
Dispholidus typus
Dasypeltis scabra

present in Australian study area

Lialis burtonis rare (diet similar to e.g. Lycophidion capense capense, but morphologically and behaviourally too different to be seen as counterparts)
Lophoictinia isura (closest counterpart is Polyboroides typus, which is too rare and too specialised)

Closely matched:

Tyto (same sp., alba, in both cases)
Circus spp.
Falco peregrinus (same sp.)

Approximately matched, but not enough to show convergence:

Dasyurus geoffroii vs Genetta tigrina
Accipiter spp.-complex
Haliastur sphenurus vs Buteo spp.
Pseudonaja affinis vs Naja nivea
Acanthophis antarctica and Echiopsis curta vs Bitis arietans and Bitis afra (viperids are far more specialised)
Elapognathus coronatus and Suta nigriceps vs Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia, Amplorhinus multimaculatus and Lycodonomorphus rufulus (latter rare) (Southern African forms more specialised)
Rhinoplocephalus bicolor vs Lamprophis fuscus
Notechis scutatus (certainly present) vs Hemachatus haemachatus (marginal)
Morelia imbricata vs Lycodonomorphus inornatus and Boaedon capensis

vs Homoroselaps lacteus

Still account for Suta gouldii and Lycodonomorphus inornatus

Would be matched if only the counterpart actually reached the study area:

Milvus migrans
?Hieraaetus pennatus
Aust hobby
Psammophis crucifer

Phylogenetically related but more ecologically different than in the case of Elanus, Aquila or Circus:
Falco spp.

No match because too generalised:
Falco berigora
Psammophylax rhombeatus

(writing in progress)

Publicado el marzo 8, 2022 01:09 MAÑANA por milewski milewski


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