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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.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Gruiformes, family Rallidae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.

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


any aquatic bird of the genus Fulica, esp F. atra of Europe and Asia, having lobed toes, dark plumage, and a white bill with a frontal shield: family Rallidae (rails, crakes, etc.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Coots (1998) suggested that when service providers including teachers work with families they should insure that recommendations don't conflict with beliefs such as those about the importance of leisure time or expectations for school personnel and parents.
Epidemiological studies have confirmed AVM lesions in coots exhibiting no apparent signs of abnormality.
The amount Ryobi may seek in damages will be set by the court, Coots said, adding that the company suspects ''thousands of engines'' using the patented information have been sold by Honda and the Honda units.
And these coots were about to become a monster amount of jerky and gumbo.
But when emergency respondents reached Coots' church, he had already driven away to his home.
Energy industry products and services company Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire pressure control services provider Boots & Coots (NYSE Amex:WEL), the two companies announced on Friday.
Halliburton said Boots & Coots shareholders will receive about $3 for each share of Boots & Coots they hold.
Q WheRe does the expression "bald as a coot" come from?
Researchers Wendy Reed and Mark Clark at North Dakota State University, Fargo, and Carol Vleck at Iowa State University, Ames, found that female American coots favour their largest offspring, even before they hatch.
Coots are currently nesting in preparation for laying eggs over the next few weeks and Linda added that more volunteers were needed to ensure the eggs would be kept safe.
Splashes of water mark the steps of American coots as they skim the surface of Munsel Lake.
The circulation of these serotypes in wild aquatic birds was investigated, examining 638 cloacal swabs and 621 sera collected from 150 gulls, 162 coots, and 326 ducks trapped in Italian wetlands from 1998 to 2000.