raven

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raven,

common name for the largest members of the family Corvidae (crowcrow,
partially migratory black bird, genus Corvus, of the same family as the raven, the magpie, the jay, and the rook and the jackdaw of Europe. The American, or common, crow, C. brachyrhynchos, about 19 in. (49 cm) long, has a wingspread of over 3 ft (92 cm).
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 family), ranging throughout the arctic and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The common raven, Corvus corax, is a glossy black scavenging bird about 26 in. (66 cm) long, with a call resembling a guttural croak. Long the subject of superstition and legend, the raven can be tamed and taught to mimic human speech. Ravens 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 Passeriformes, family Corvidae.

Bibliography

See studies by B. Heinrich (repr. 1991; 1999).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Raven

 

(Corvus corax), a bird of the crow family, in the Passeriformes order. Body length, 60-65 cm. Black in color with blue or green metallic tint; young ravens are mat black. The distribution of ravens is very broad: they are found in Europe, Asia (excluding the southeast), North and Central America, and North Africa; in the USSR they are every-where except in densely populated areas. Ravens are not numerous. They lead a settled or a migratory life. During the winter they flock to the dumps near cities. They build their nests in trees and on rocks, coastal precipices, and tall structures. A single nesting place serves for generation after generation. From five to six eggs are laid once a year. The raven is an omniverous bird, but most of its food consists of animal food and carrion. A closely related species is the desert raven (C. ruficollis), brownish in color, which inhabits North Africa and southwest Asia; in the USSR it is found in the deserts of Middle Asia.

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

What does it mean when you dream about a raven?

Ravens are symbols of diabolical evil in traditional Christianity. This bird also symbolizes uncleanliness and death because it feeds upon dead and decaying animals. Because it is a sign of transformation, the raven is also associated with magicians and sorcerers.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

raven

bird of ill omen visits the despairing poet. [Am. Lit.: Poe The Raven]
See: Birds

raven

guardian of the dead. [Christian Folklore: Mercatante, 159]

raven

often presages death or catastrophe. [Animal Folklore: Jobes, 213]
See: Omen
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

raven

1. a large passerine bird, Corvus corax, having a large straight bill, long wedge-shaped tail, and black plumage: family Corvidae (crows). It has a hoarse croaking cry
2. 
a. a shiny black colour
b. (as adjective): raven hair
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
KNOCK OUT: Ian Millarvie wastes no time in sending Sergey Voron to the floor
'Voron looks like he's made from granite and is a typically big, strong Russian.'
'The American trip has given me a few pointers on how to put some power behind my punches and I'm feeling good about the fight with Voron.