|Crested crane, Balearica regulorum|
|Global distribution of the cranes|
The Gruiformes evolved early, long before the passerine songbirds which are the most common birds today. The Gruiform radiation in the Palaeocene and Eocene produced a large variety of medium to large-sized birds. Many of them still prefer the watery habitats which were so common early in the Cainozoic era.