Cranial osteology of Picini (Aves: Piciformes: Picidae)
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The Picini is composed of 26 species of woodpeckers from the old world that are grouped into seven genera. Given the absence of detailed studies on the cranial osteology of the Picini, the purpose of this study is to describe the cranial osteology of 14 species of Picini from six genera and to compare these species with each other, with other species of woodpeckers and with other bird groups. The results of the analysis of the bone structures of the skull of the Picini indicate that there are seven outstanding characteristic of bones involved in the functional mechanistics of the jaw apparatus. In the ossa cranii, these include the frontal overhang, the postorbital process, the extension of the parietal versus the frontal region and the temporal fossa. In the ossa faciei, these include the rostral expansion of the pterygoid, the ventral palatine fossa and the orbital process of the quadrate bone. For all of the structures associated with the cranial osteology of the investigated species, there is a clear distinction between the species of the genus Picus and the other species studied. Blythipicus rubiginosus, Chrysocolaptes lucidus, Reinwardtipicus validus, Gecinulus viridis and the species of the genus Dinopium exhibit additional particularities. © 2012 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.