limpkin

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Related to Aramus guarauna: limpkin

limpkin

or

courlan

(ko͝or`lən), common terms for a long-legged, nonmigratory marsh bird, considered the connecting evolutionary link between the crane and the rail. They have a cranelike skeletal structure, but their digestive system, as well as their nesting habits and behavior, is raillike. There is only one species, Aramus quarauna, which is divided into 5 subspecies, some found exclusively in South America and the others found from South Carolina and Florida to Argentina. Limpkins are large (28 in./70 cm) grayish-brown birds that feed on freshwater snails and mollusks. Their name derives from their limping flight, with legs dangling and wingbeats jerky; although weak and infrequent fliers they are good swimmers. Limpkins roost in trees and nest in marsh grass or low bushes. They lay four to eight eggs per clutch with both male and female incubating the young. They are noisy birds; their sad call gives them the name "crying bird." Because limpkins were considered good food birds, they were almost wiped out in Florida and Georgia. Today, they are protected and are regaining their former abundance. Limpkins 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 Gruiformes, family Aramidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the studied area, the only hypothetic foraging competitor to the Snail Kite would be the limpkin (Aramus guarauna) that also feeds on snails and crabs, however no aggressiveness were detected between these species.
Notas comparativas sobre el forrajeo ejercido por el Aguila Caracolera (Rostrhamus sociabilis) y la Viudita Alegre (Aramus guarauna) sobre moluscos de agua dulce, en la laguna de Sonso, Valle del Cauca.
The changes described, together with the characteristics of the area [e.g., absence of natural predators birds such as Rostrhamus sociabilis (Vieillot, 1817) and Aramus guarauna (Linnaeus, 1766), according to Thiollay, (1994) and Thomas (1996)] suggest that this species has a high probability of becoming established in northern Patagonia.
Bird species, which feed on fish, like the olivaceous cormorant Phalacrocorax olivaceu, the limpkin Aramus guarauna and the snail-kite Rosthramus sociabilis were also contaminated.