Coots, cranes and rails are mostly water birds, though a few terrestrial species are mixed in. As a scientific group, gruiformes is a bit of a catch-all, as all manner of species have been placed in here that didn't quite belong anywhere else. Consequently, it contains diverse members that are globally widespread. Recent evidence has suggested that certain species, such as bustards and seriemas, don't belong here at all. Sungrebes, rails and cranes do however remain among the core species that make up the gruiformes.
Scientific name: Gruiformes
The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
The following habitats are found across the Coots, cranes and rails distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
The Gruiformes are an order containing a considerable number of living and extinct bird families, with a widespread geographical diversity. Gruiform means "crane-like".
Traditionally, a number of wading and terrestrial bird families that did not seem to belong to any other order were classified together as Gruiformes. These include 14 species of large cranes, about 145 species of smaller crakes and rails, as well as a variety of families comprising one to three species, such as the Heliornithidae, the limpkin, or the trumpeters. Other birds have been placed in this order more out of necessity to place them somewhere; this has caused the expanded Gruiformes to lack distinctive apomorphies. Recent studies indicate that these "odd Gruiformes" are if at all only loosely related to the cranes, rails, and relatives ("core Gruiformes").
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