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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Tyranni), a suborder of birds of the order Passeriformes. The birds are characterized by the distinctive structure of their toe musculature and by the rather primitive structure of the syrinx, which has no more than two pairs of vocal chords. They can emit shrieks but do not sing. The plumage is bright and varicolored.

The suborder Clamatores contains 12 families, including the Tyrannidae (tyrant flycatchers), Dendrocolaptidae (woodcreepers, or woodhewers), Pittidae (pittas, or jewel threshers), Furnariidae (ovenbirds), and Formicariidae (antbirds). There are more than 1,000 species. The birds are distributed in the tropical zone and are most numerous in South America. Approximately 30 species are encountered in Africa, Madagascar, South Asia, Oceania, Australia, and New Zealand.

Most species are forest dwellers. They build their nests in trees (sometimes in hollows), on the ground, or in shrubs. Some species feed on insects, and others eat vegetation or have mixed diets. A number of species damage crops and gardens.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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