The (seductive) animal of the day

© Daniel Arief Budiman


Name : Paradisaea apoda or Greater bird-of-paradise is part of the 43 species of the Paradisaeidae family, also called  Birds of Paradise.

Habitat : Paradisaea apoda lives for the most part in the South-West of New Guinea. We can find him in some of the Maluku Islands next to New Guinea. This bird is located for the most part in an environment like the tropical forests of low altitude.

Size : The Greater bird-of-paradise’s size is between 35 and 43 cm in length. It is one of the biggest species of Paradisaeidae with the Black Sicklebill (Epimachus fatosus), Stephanie’s astrapia (Astrapia stephaniae) and the Arfak astrapia (Astrapia nigra) (non-exhaustive list).

Way of life : This bird, frugivorous and insectivorous, has a gregorious way of life like most Birds of Paradise. A very important peculiarity of the birds of paradise is the presence of a rather strong sexual dimorphism, due to a strong sexual selection.


Interesting fact or not, the name Paradisaea apoda means “ legless Bird-of-Paradise“. When the species was discovered during the 11th century, the birds had their limbs torn off, and arrived in Europe without any legs.
Its sexual dimorphism stems from its mode of reproduction. Males do courtship displays to conquer the female. Among the Greater bird-of-paradise, the male exposes his yellow and brown feathers to the female, which is attracted by his songs and dances, allowing him to exhibit his colorfuls feathers.
The one performing the best dance, singing the best song, and exposing the most colorful feathers gets to mate

Written by Alix BONARD
Translated by Constance MARTIN

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