Anatidae

From Academic Kids

Ducks
White-fronted Goose
White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Anseriformes
Family:Anatidae
Subfamilies

Dendrocygninae
Thalassorninae
Anserinae
Stictonettinae
Plectropterinae
Tadorninae
Anatinae
Merginae
Oxyurinae

Anatidae is the biological family that includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swan. These are birds that are modified for swimming, floating on the water surface, and in some cases diving in at least shallow water.

They have webbed feet and bills which are flattened to a greater or lesser extent. Their feathers are excellent at shedding water due to special oils. Duck, eider and goose feathers and down have long been popular for bedspreads, pillows, sleeping bags and coats. The members of this family also have long been used for food.

While the status of the Anatidae as a family is straightforward, and there is little debate about which species properly belong to it, the relationships of the different tribes and subfamilies within it are poorly understood. The listing in the box at right should be regarded simply one of several possible ways of organising the many species within the Anatidae.

Contents

Classification

Previously divided into six subfamilies, recent anatomical studies by Livezey (1986; A phylogenetic analysis of recent Anseriform genera, Auk 103: 737-754) showed that the Anatidae are better treated in nine subfamilies. This classification has been followed by Madge & Burn, Wildfowl (1988):

Dendrocygninae: whistling ducks

Thalassorninae: White-backed Duck

  • One genus in Africa, most closely related to the subfamily Dendrocygninae, though also showing convergent similarities to the subfamily Oxyurinae:
Missing image
Mute.swan.flaps.arp.750pix.jpg
Mute Swan

Anserinae: swans and geese

Stictonettinae: Freckled Duck

  • One genus in Australia, formerly included in the Oxyurinae, but with anatomy suggesting a distinct ancient lineage perhaps closest to the Anserinae:

Plectropterinae: Spur-winged Goose

Tadorninae: shelducks, sheldgeese and steamer-ducks

Anatinae: dabbling and diving ducks

Missing image
Red-crested.pochard.2.arp.750pix.jpg
Red-crested Pochard

Merginae: eiders, scoters, sawbills and other sea-ducks

Oxyurinae: stiff-tail ducks

de:Entenvgel eo:Anasedoj fr:Anatidae fy:Einfgels ja:カモ科 (Sibley) nl:Anatidae pl:Kaczkowate pt:Anatidae zh-cn:鸭科

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