On an apparently new Form of Casuarius from the northcoast of New Guinea
Notes from the Leyden Museum , Volume 29 - Issue 3/4 p. 204- 206
In 1904 Mr. J. W. van Nouhuys, the commander of the steamer which brought the Wichmann-expedition in 1903 along the northcoast of New Guinea to the Humboldt Bay, presented to the Zoological Garden at Rotterdam a young cassowary; this bird lived there till May 1907, when it died and when it was, by the kindness of Dr. Büttikofer, the director of the Garden, sent to our Museum. The bird, a male, is now at least four years old; it is full-grown, though its plumage is not yet entirely black, but here and there, and especially between the so-called tailfeathers, some brown feathers are still to be seen. With a few words Mr. Lorentz makes mention of this bird in his narrative ¹) of the expedition, but he does not say, where the bird was caught. As Mr. van Nouhuys and also Mr. Lorentz are at present again on New Guinea, I asked the other zoologist of the expedition, Mr. L. F. de Beaufort, if he could tell me where the bird was obtained. This gentleman most kindly informed me, that the bird is originating from the northcoast of New Guinea, west of the Humboldt Bay, very probably from Tarfia near the Matterer Bay, but this he did not remember with certainty. I hope to learn later the exact locality from Mr. van Nouhuys. Our specimen belongs to the Casuarius casuarius-gvouip and as to the wattles it most resembles Casuarius casuarius beccarii, under which name I have mentioned the bird in my osteological catalogue ¹). Determining the bird in Rothschild’s Monograph ²) with the key only, it must be C. c. beccarii; comparing the bird with the descriptions of this species, with that by Sclater ³) as well as with that by Rothschild, it shows some differences. But considering that the bird is not quite adult and that it has lived in confinement, and also that Salvadori 4) unites sclateri with according to this author, beccarii, so that, beccarii has a wide distribution over southern New Guinea, I then thought our bird to be C. c. beccarii. A careful re-examination of the matter has convinced me however that, though our bird is a very near ally of C. c. beccarii, it differs from this form and from all other forms of the Casuarius casuarius-group in such points, that it is necessary to separate it. According to two conspicuous streaks of a fleshy-red colour reaching from the base of the lower inaudible to the wattles I call this form :
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van Oort, E. D. (1908). On an apparently new Form of Casuarius from the northcoast of New Guinea. Notes from the Leyden Museum, 29(3/4), 204–206.