The gnateaters are a bird family, Conopophagidae, consisting of ten small passerine species in two genera, which occur in South America. The family was formerly restricted to the gnateater genus Conopophaga; analysis of mtDNA cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 sequences (Rice 2005a,b) indicates that the bar-bellied "antpittas", Pittasoma, also belong in this family. These perhaps might be more appropriately called gnatpittas as their similarity to the true antpittas is due to convergent evolution. They are very closely related to the antbirds and less closely to the antpittas and tapaculos. Due to their remote and dim habitat, gnateaters are a little-studied and poorly known family of birds, though they are highly sought after by birdwatchers.
They are round, short-tailed, and long-legged birds, about 12-18 cm (5-7 inches) in length. They are quite upright when standing. Sexes differ in plumage, and males are attractively coloured in shades of red and brown, with sexual dichromatism less pronounced in Pittasoma. Most Conopophaga species have a white tuft behind the eye.
TravelEtc: HERE'S TO CUZCO ; It All Started in a Pub. but in This Pub, the Regulars Might Include Botanists, Archaeologists and Even a Gun-Toting Vietnam Veteran. Not to Mention the Occasional Snake Wrapped Round a Table Leg. Former Cuzco Barman Max Milligan Explains Why This Region of Peru Has Kept Him Entranced for 15 Years
Oct 21, 2001; There are few better ways of getting to know a region and its inhabitants than by setting up a pub, especially when it is the...