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Birds of the World

There are around 11,000 species (and counting) of birds in the world today. They are remarkably diverse in appearance and behavior; from Ostriches to Hummingbirds. They are found on every continent and all the world's oceans. Some can dive to great depths and some can fly over the Himalayas. This course will discuss how much of this remarkably diversity results from modifications of five characters: wings, beaks, feet, feathers, and song. We will also spend some time talking about the evolutionary rise of birds and talk about how groups of living birds are related to one another. And all the while, I hope to share with you the beauty and wonders of birds. I grew up in Southern California and received my B.S. from UCLA in 1970. I completed my Ph.D. in marine biology at UCLA in 1975. I was a faculty member at the University of Southern California and then a scientist for the California Coastal Commission. I became a faculty member at JMU in 1991. During my years at JMU, I taught courses in Invertebrate Zoology, Marine Ecology, Evolution and Ornithology. Before and since retiring in 2013 I've been fascinated by the beauty, form and diversity of the world's birds and have tried to see as many of them as I can.

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