(Picture by Stacey Burgess)
    Scythers, the a large Australasian clade of twitavians, are generally thought of as large fruigvores, similar to the hornbills of RL.  However, one scyther genus, Phoenix, has adapted to a different lifestyle---that of a nectar-drinker.  These birds, commonly known as long-fung, are small, never more than 15 centimeters in length (not including the tail), and possess short, sharply curved bills and long, bristle-tipped tongues with which the lap nectar out of flowers.

    The symbiotic work these the long-fung do for their flowers is actually of a rather dubious nature.  While the birds do function as pollen-transport for flowers, they have a definite taste for the pollen, itself, nibbling on flower stamens to obtain valuable protein.  As a result, may of the flowers of Southeast Asia (even those of totally unrelated species) posses the distinctive "pleated skirt" shape.

    Long-fung are widespread across eastern Eurasia and Indonesia, but are most populous in southeast Asia, where vast long-fung flocks blanket trees and blot out the sun when in flight.  The celestial long-fung (Phoenix mirabilis, pictured above), is the most common species of mainland Southeast Asia, and possesses the short wings and luxurious tail feathers that characterize the genus.

(Text by Daniel Bensen)
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