Darter

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Darter
Temporal range:
early Miocene – Recent
18 mya to present
Anhingarufa1.JPG
Male African darter
Anhinga rufa
Scientific classification e
Unrecognized taxon (fix): Darter

The darters, anhingas, or snakebirds is a family of aquatic birds which resemble pelicans. They mainly occur in the tropics.

There are four living species. Three of the species are common, the fourth is rarer, and listed as near-threatened by the IUCN.

The term snakebird is used for any of these species: They have a long thin neck. When they swim, only the head and neck are visible. This looks like a snake. Darter is a term that refers to they way these birds catch fish: They impale the fish with their beak. The American darter is sometimes called anhinga. Sometimes it is called water turkey, even though it is unrelated to the turkey.

References[change | change source]

  1. Walter J. Bock (1994): History and Nomenclature of Avian Family-Group Names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, number 222; with application of article 36 of ICZN.