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Aves - Neognathae - Galliformes - Tetraonidae - Lagopus - Lagopus mutus

Sternum (Breast Bone) of a Lagopus mutus (Rock Ptarmigan)


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Species Description
The Rock Ptarmigan, known colloquially in North America as the “Snow Chicken”, is a member of the grouse family. It breeds across the Arctic and sub-Arctic tundra of Eurasia and North America, and feeds primarily on tree buds and catkins (although it will also take other plant matter, such as seeds, leaves and flowers). The Rock Ptarmigan is seasonally camouflaged, with mottled brown plumage in summer that gives way to all-white feathers in the winter. It also possesses feathered feet, which provides insulation against the cold; the feathers also aid in walking on snow, increasing the surface area of the feet and acting like snowshoes. Rock Ptarmigan populations, especially those in Iceland, are well known for vast fluctuations in numbers, usually following a 10-year cycle; the populations of predators, as well as some other prey species, are dependent on this same cycle.
Skeletal Elements Available

Sternum (Breast Bone)
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