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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 608 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MANUCODE, from the French, an abbreviation of Menu codiata, and the Latinized form of the Malay Manukdewata, meaning, says Crawfurd (Malay and Engl. Dictionary, p. 97), the " bird of the gods," and a name applied for more than two hundred years apparently to birds-of-paradise in general. In the original sense of its inventor, Montbeillard (Hist. nat. oiseaux, 163), Manucode was restricted to the king birdof-paradise and three allied species; but in English it has curiously been transferred 1 to a small group of species whose 1 Manucodiata was. used by M. J. Brisson (Ornithologie, ii. 130) as a generic term equivalent to the Lim-mean Paradisea. In 1783 Boddaert, when assigning scientific names to the birds figured by Daubenton, called the subject of one of them (Pl. enlum. 634) Manucodia chalybea, the first word being apparently an accidental curtailment of the name of Brisson's genus to which he referred it. Nevertheless some writers have taken it as evidence, of an intention to found a new genus py that name, and hence the importation of Manucodia into scientific nomenclature, and the English form to correspond.relationship to theParadiseidae has been frequently doubted, and must be • considered uncertain. These manucodes have a glossy steel-blue plumage of much beauty, but are distinguished from other birds of similar coloration. by the outer and middle toes being united for some distance, and by the extraordinary convolution of the trachea, in the males at least, with which is correlated the 'loud and clear voice of the birds. The con-voluted portion of the trachea lies on the breast, between the skin and the muscles, much as is found in the females of the painted snipes (Rostratula), in the males of the curassows (Cracidae), and in a few other' birds, ' but wholly unknown elsewhere among the Passeres. Thee manucodes are peculiar to' the Papuan sub-region (including therein the peninsula of Cape 'York), and comprehend, according' to R. B. Sharpe (Cat. B. Brit. Museum, iii. 164), two genera, for the first of which, distinguished by the elongated' tufts on the head; he adopts R. P. Lesson's name Phonygama, and for the second, having no tufts, but the feathers of the head crisped, that of 'Manucodia; and W. A. Forbes (Prot. 'tool. Soc. 1882, p. 349) observed that the validity of the separation was con-firmed by their tracheal formation. Of Phonygama Sharpe recognizes three species, P. keraudreni (the type) and P. jamesi, both from New Guinea, and' P. gouldi, the Australian representative species; but the first two are considered by D. G. Elliot (Ibis. 1878, p. 56) and Count Salvadori (Ornitol. della Papuasia, ii. 510) to be inseparable. ' There is a greater unanimity in regard' to the species of the so-called genus Manucodia proper,- of ' which four are admitted—M. chalybeata or chalybea from north-western New Guinea, M. comriei from the south-eastern part of the same country, M. atra of wide distribution within the Papuan area, and M. jobiensis peculiar to the island which "gives it a name. Little is known of the habits of these birds, except that they are, as already mentioned, remarkable for their vocal powers, which, in P. keraudreni, Lesson describes (Voy. de la Coquille, " Zoologie," i. 638) as enabling them to pass through every note of the gamut. (A. N.)
End of Article: MANUCODE

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