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Chaetopidae

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Chaetopidae

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Rock-jumpers
 
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
 
Phylum: Chordata
 
Class: Aves
 
Order: Passeriformes
 
Family: Chaetopidae
 
Genera
Chaetops

The Rock-jumpers are medium-sized insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the genus Chaetops that constitute the entire family Chaetopidae. Originally,these birds were placed in the Turdidae,but recent DNA-studies indicate these birds are something entirely different; they are primitive passeridans most closely related to the rockfowl (Picatharthidae). These two endemic African families point to an African origin for Passerida as a whole.

These are small birds coloured mostly in brown and red. Their wings are very small and they clearly do not fly very often. They spend most of their lives running and jumping among rocks and grasses while hunting insects.

The two species, Rufous Rock-jumper, Chaetops frenatus, and Orange-breasted Rock-jumper Chaetops aurantius, are endemic residents of southern Africa.


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