At the begining of the Tertiary, as Spec and Home-Earth first began to diverge, Eurasian avians were almost entirely enantiornithians or opposite birds, a branch of the avian tree that split off quite early from the more familier euornithes, or true birds.  However, over the course of the time, the true birds have invaded and almost totally eclipsed their strange cousins.  Thus, in many respects, the avian fauna of Spec's Eurasia is very similar to that of RL.  There are, however, a number of differences.
(Text by Daniel Bensen)
    One of the 2 major orders of Specworld songbirds, tweeties are non-neognathous birds that convergently resemble
home-earth's passerines and hornbills.

    Tweety-bird evolutionary history is very poorly-known, but the birds' physiology places their ancestry far back into the paleocene (or possibly, the Maastrichian), when the twitavian line branched off from the primitive paleognaths and began evolving convergently with the flexible-billed neognaths.  Australia is most likely the ancestral home of the twitavians, but the birds have been quite successful in eastern Eurasia, and this continent has witnessed a tweety-bird renaissance.  The Australian ancestral species have radiated in to a number of endemic clades seen nowhere else on Spec.

    Balaclava birds extend across Eurasia, occupying a number of insectivorous and nectivorous forms.

    Balaclavines are typical balaclava birds, with a robust build and a large mask of naked skin.  These birds are primarily nectar and fruit-eaters.

    Piciformes are rare in Spec's Eurasia, only inhabiting the depths of the rainforests of southeast Asia.

    Hydropicids live in rock crevices around waterfalls in the tropical rainforest of south-eastern Asia, but do not possess any of the modifications typical of aquatic birds.  Their nests are often cup-shaped as inside lining is composed of the orchids' leaves and rotten stems.

    Waterfall barbets (genus Hydropicus) feed upon the flowers and pollen several species of orchids (principally Speckoltia ssp.) which are endemic to the region and grow only near water.

     Both Hydropicus and their host orchids have been only recently discovered, and all captive breeding programs have failed due to the birds' specialised diet and the difficulties in growing speckoltias away from their native environment.

(Text by João Boto and Daniel Bensen)


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