|Distribution of the Dwarf Cassowary|
The scientific name commemorates the Australian naturalist George Bennett. He was the first scientist to examine these birds after a few were brought to Australia aboard a ship. Recognising them as representing a new species of cassowary, he sent specimens back to England where this was confirmed. On the west side of Geelvink Bay, western Irian, there exist a distinctive form that may merit a split. C. papuanus is the tentative name. Finally there are no officially recognized sub-species, however, some authors believe there should be.
The Karam of the New Guinea Highlands identify bats and flying birds as one classification (yaket), and the Dwarf Cassowary, an extremely large wingless, flightless bird as another classification (kobtiy). Whereas yaket are bony with wings and fly in the air, kobtiy are bony without wings and are terrestrial and of the forest. Kobtiy are different from other bony wingless animals in that the kobtiy are not quadrupedal, like dogs and lizards, and are not limbless, like snakes.
|Central Papua New Guinea||Unknown||Declining|
It is a large bird but is slightly smaller than other living cassowaries. It is between 99 and 150 cm (3.25 and 4.9 ft) long and between 17.6 and 26 kg (39 and 57 lb) in mass. It is a flightless bird with hard and stiff black plumage, a low triangular casque, pink cheek and red patches of skin on its blue neck. Compared to other cassowaries, the dwarf cassowary is shorter, with a tarsi length of 24.5 cm (9.6 in), with a slightly smaller bill, at 11 to 12.2 cm (4.3 to 4.8 in). The feet are large and powerful, equipped with dagger-like claws on the inner toe. Both sexes are similar. Females have longer casques, brighter bare skin color and are larger in size.
Range and habitat
The Dwarf Cassowary is distributed throughout mountain forests of New Guinea, New Britain, and Yapen Island, at elevations up to 3,300 m (10,800 ft). In areas without other species of cassowaries, it will live in the lowlands also. Its diet consists mainly of fallen fruits and small animals, and insects. A solitary bird, it pairs only in breeding season.
Due to ongoing habitat loss, habitat degradation, being hunted for food, and often being kept in captivity, the Dwarf Cassowary is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with an occurrence range of 258,000 km2 (100,000 sq mi).
- BirdLife International (2012). "Casuarius bennetti". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Davies, S. J. J. F. (2003)
- Gotch, A. F. (1995)
- Avibase 2009
- Brands, S. (2008)
- Bulmer, Ralph (1967). "Why is the Cassowary Not a Bird? A Problem of Zoological Taxonomy Among the Karam of the New Guinea Highlands". Man 2 (1): 5–25.
- BirdLife International (2008)(a)
- Clements, J (2007)
- Bennett, George (1860), Gatherings of a naturalist in Australasia, John Van Voorst, London
- BirdLife International (2008(a)). "Dwarf Cassowary - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Data Zone. Retrieved 06 Feb 2009.
- Brands, Sheila (Aug 14 2008). "Systema Naturae 2000 / Classification, Casuarius bennetti". Project: The Taxonomicon. Retrieved Feb 04 2009.
- Clements, James (2007). The Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World (6 ed.). Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4501-9.
- Davies, S.J.J.F. (2003). "Cassowaries". In Hutchins, Michael. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. 8 Birds I Tinamous and Ratites to Hoatzins (2 ed.). Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale Group. ISBN 0-7876-5784-0. Unknown parameter
- Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Gotch, A.F. (1995) . "Cassowaries". Latin Names Explained. A Guide to the Scientific Classifications of Reptiles, Birds & Mammals. London: Facts on File. pp. 178–179. ISBN 0-8160-3377-3.