The Northern anteater-chat

The anteater chat or northern anteater-chat is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae.It is found inBurkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Gambia, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, andTanzania. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, and subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland.

Northern anteater-chat, is currently grouped together with the chats (formerly sometimes known as chat-thrushes) in the subfamily Saxicolinae. These birds were previously considered to be members of the thrush family (Turdidae), probably due to their comparable beak structures and their similar ground-feeding habits.

However, those morphological and behavioral similarities arose because of their corresponding lifestyles and are the result of convergent evolution. Currently, the chats are thought to be Old World flycatchers (Muscicapidae), although further study may change that.

This discussion underlines the challenges people have historically faced when naming animals and plants because the names we give reflect our biases and our superficial understanding of the biological variation that is possible as well as the evolutionary relationships between all life on earth.

The chats are no exception: there are several other groups of songbirds known as "chats" throughout the world, none of which are closely related to each other. The Australian chats (genera Epthianura and Ashbyia within the family, Meliphagidae), are not closely related to the Saxicolinae, nor is the yellow-breasted chat, Icteria virens, a neotropical species of unresolved taxonomy that was originally thought to be a wood-warbler (Parulidae), but now is viewed as being just plain mysterious.

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