name = Booby
Blue-footed Boobydisplaying by raising a foot
image_width = 240px
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
genus = "Sula"
genus_authority = Brisson, 1760
Sula leucogaster"For fossil species, see text
The boobies are part of the family
Sulidae, a group of seabirds, and are closely related to gannets. The true boobies all belong to the genus"Sula".
These are large birds with long pointed wings and long bills. They hunt
fishby diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. They have facial air sacs under their skin which cushion the impact with the water.
Boobies are colonial breeders on islands and coasts. They normally lay one or more chalky-blue eggs on the ground or sometimes in a tree nest.
Their name is possibly based on the Spanish
slangterm "bobo", meaning " dunce", as these tame birds had a habit of landing on-board sailing ships, where they were easily captured and eaten. Owing to this, boobies are often mentioned as having been caught and eaten by shipwrecked sailors, notably Captain Bligh of the "Bounty" and his loyalists during their famous voyage after being set adrift by Fletcher Christian and his mutineers.
ystematics and evolution
Five of the six extant Sulidae species called "boobies" are in the genus "Sula", while the three gannets are usually treated in the genus "Morus".
Abbott's Boobywas formerly included in "Sula" but is now placed in a monotypicgenus "Papasula" which represents an ancient lineage perhaps closer to "Morus".cite journal
last = Friesen
first = V.L.
coauthors = Anderson, D. J., Steeves, T.E., Jones, H., Schreiber, E.A.
title = Molecular Support for Species Status of the Nazca Booby
volume = 119
issue = 3
pages = 820–826
publisher = Department of Biology, Queen's University
location = Kingston, Ontario
date = July 2006
doi = 10.1642/0004-8038(2002)119 [0820:MSFSSO] 2.0.CO;2
accessdate = 2008-06-17]
Some authorities consider that all nine species should be considered congeneric, in "Sula". However, they are readily told apart by means of
osteology, and the distinct lineages of gannets and boobies are known to have existed in such form since at least the Middle Miocene, c.15 mya (Olson 1985dn).
The fossil record of boobies is not as well documented as that of gannets; possible reasons could be that booby species were less numerous in the late
Mioceneto Pliocenewhen gannets had their highest diversity, or that due to the more tropical distribution of boobies, many fossil species have simply not been found yet as most localities are in continental North Americaor Europe.
Blue-footed Booby, "Sula nebouxii"
Peruvian Booby, "Sula variegata"
Masked Booby, "Sula dactylatra"
Tasman Booby, "Sula (dactylatra) tasmani" - possibly extinct(c.1790? [This form poses major problems. Initially, it was described as an extinct species, but it seems nowadays that these individuals merely represent the largest birds of the Tasman Sea Masked Booby which was separated as the subspecies "S. dactylatra fullagari". As "tasmani" had been described first, "fullagari" becomes a junior synonymif the extinct and the extant birds are considered to belong to the same taxon, which would thus be named "S. d. tasmani" ("fide" Holdaway & Anderson, 2001dn). If one assumes that the differences are not merely related to size, the extinct birds - which are certainly not a distinct species as initially believed - would be named "S. d. tasmani" ("fide" van Tets "et al.", 1988dn), and the extant subspecies would retain the name "fullagari". There is sufficient material for DNAanalyses to settle this question.] )
Nazca Booby, "Sula granti" (formerly "S. dactylatra granti")
Red-footed Booby, "Sula sula"
Brown Booby, "Sula leucogaster"
* "Sula humeralis" (
fossil; Middle Pliocene)
* "Sula sulita" (
fossil; Pisco Late Miocene of Peru)
* "Sula magna" (
fossil; Pisco Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Peru)
Placement of "Sula" ronzoni" (Early Oligocene of Ronzon, France) in this genus (and indeed in the Sulidae) is uncertain; it was initially described as a "
Mergus" sea-duck, but this is incorrect. Later, it was proposed to be related to cormorantsand the genus "Prophalacrocorax" was erected for it; this is erroneous (Olson 1985dn).
*ARKive - [http://www.arkive.org/species/GES/birds/Papasula_abbotti/ images and movies of the Abbott's booby "(Papasula abbotti)"]
* [http://ibc.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/familia.phtml?idFamilia=16 Booby videos] on the Internet Bird Collection
* [http://www.maniacworld.com/booby-vs-booby.html Sibling rivalry between Booby chicks] Video
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.