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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Echinostoma atrae, New Species (Digenea: Echinostomatidae) in Black Coot Fulica atra (Aves: Rallidae) of Manchhar Lake, Sindh, Pakistan.
All the six sites were surveyed for Black Coot population counts during mid-winter (January) from 1989-2008.
"Forgo recognition and feed what is in your nest." The new work suggests that coots can develop the ability to recognize their chicks if a reliable method presents itself.
A serosurvey for neutralizing antibodies against West Nile virus (WNV) in common coots (Fulica atra) was conducted in Donana, Spain.
Officials also observed aberrant neurologic signs in the wintering population of American coots (Fulica americana) at the lake.
"Everyone know's he's just an old coot, and yet they led the broadcast with this dodo.'
I agreed to this absurd task, cut work early and scouted out a coot mecca on Farmington Bay.
There are two boat ramps in Flamingo: one for Florida Bay and the other that takes you into Coot Bay, Whitewater Bay and Oyster Bay and eventually through Shark River to the Gulf of Mexico.
YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS Wee Thinker Across: 7 Donegal 9 All-in 10 Picks 11 Buffalo 12 Lei 13 Cauldron 16 Unlawful 17 Too 19 Counter 21 Cheat 22 Leg it 23 Emotion Down: 1 Adeptly 2 Inaction 3 Ages 4 Daffodil 5 Ella 6 Onion 8 Labour force 13 Chastity 14 On the air 15 Content 18 Scold 20 Urge 21 Coot QUICKIE Across: 1 Driving test 8 Hoe 9 Lob 11 Elastic 12 Drone 13 Rep 14 Tee 15 Elderly 17 Nib 19 Easy 21 Yo-yo 23 Past 25 Beep 27 Eve 29 Topical 31 Sap 34 Lap 36 Olive 37 Ski-lift 38 Net 39 Say 40 Changed gear Down: 1 Dole 2 Reap 3 Vitally 4 Nickel 5 Tidal 6 Slot 7 Tone 8 Heron 10 Beefy 16 Yes 18 Bye 20 Ate 22 Opt 24 Amazing 25 Bison 26 Tissue 28 Empty 30 Ocean 32 Alec 33 Pith 34 Lisa 35 Afar
PROUD: Today's photo is of a coot feeding its young at Thornley Woods, sent in by Tony Scott
But that's just what happened with Jeremy Gorman's "Ramblings of an Outdated Old Coot: Bettering Tomorrow With Past Insights", a self-published 176-page compendium of keen observation, thoughtful insights, and a true storyteller's talent for expression.
The projector also has 2200 ANSI lumens and can be powered off once it's disconnected from an outlet without having to wait for it to coot down.