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coot,common name for a migratory marsh bird related to rails and gallinules and found in North America and Europe. The American coot (Fulica americana), or mud hen, is slate gray with a white bill, black head and neck, and white wing edgings and tail patch. It has lobed toes and is a skillful swimmer and diver but takes flight awkwardly, pattering the water to gain impetus. It eats aquatic plants and insects. Gregarious except during breeding, the male broods eggs and chicks at night. The European species inhabits the northern regions; there are seven species in South America alone. Coots are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Gruiformes, family Rallidae.
(Fulica atra), or European coot, a bird of the family Rallidae of the order Gruiformes. The body length measures about 40 cm. There is a patch of white skin (shield) on the forehead. The coloration is grayish black. The bird has broadly lobed toes, enabling it to swim and dive well. It is distributed in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and Australia. In the USSR it nests everywhere south of 60°-62° N lat. and winters on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea and in Middle Asia. It lives along the shores of lakes, ponds, and sea inlets that are rich in aquatic vegetation. The nest is built near the water in thickets of reeds and rushes. Six to nine eggs, sometimes as many as 15, are laid per clutch, and both the male and female incubate them for 21-24 days. The coot feeds on the seeds and green parts of aquatic plants, on insects, and on mollusks. In certain localities, especially the wintering si’es, coots are hunted commercially.