gull

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Related to larid: laird

gull,

common name for an aquatic bird of the family Laridae, which also includes the terntern,
common name for a sea bird of the Old and New Worlds, smaller than the related gull. Because of their graceful flight and their long pointed wings and forked tails, some terns are called sea swallows. They plunge headlong into the water to catch small fish.
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 and the jaegerjaeger
, common name for several members of the family Stercorariidae, member of a family of hawklike sea birds closely related to the gull and the tern. The skua is also a member of this family.
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. It is found near all oceans and many inland waters. Gulls are larger and bulkier than terns, and their tails are squared rather than forked. Their plumage is usually white with gray or black markings on the back, wings, and head. Their long, narrow wings are adapted to soaring and their webbed feet to swimming. They have strong bills, hooked at the end; they eat clams and fish and sometimes insects, but are most useful as scavengers in harbors and bays. They are often seen hovering over the wakes of ships, seeking refuse, and frequenting garbage dumps. The common gull—called sea gull in North America—is the herring gull Larus argentatus smithsonianus, a subspecies of the common European gull L. argentatus. It is found on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and on the Great Lakes. The larger great black-backed gull, L. marinus, is more northern; the ring-billed, Bonaparte's, and laughing gull are smaller. The Franklin's gull of the Great Plains is called the "prairie dove." The California and western gulls are common on the Pacific coast. The kittiwake is a small oceanic gull of the genus Rissa, seldom seen on land. The lesser black-backed and little gulls are European. Gulls 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.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Charadriiformes, family Laridae.

gull

[gəl]
(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for a number of long-winged swimming birds in the family Laridae having a stout build, a thick, somewhat hooked bill, a short tail, and webbed feet.

gull

any aquatic bird of the genus Larus and related genera, such as L. canus (common gull or mew) having long pointed wings, short legs, and a mostly white plumage: family Laridae, order Charadriiformes