Eider

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This article is about the seaducks. For the river, see Eider (river). For other uses, see Eider (disambiguation).
Eiders
Somateria spectabilis.jpg
King eider in breeding plumage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Merginae
Genus: Somateria
Leach, 1819
Species
  • S. mollissima
  • S. fischeri
  • S. spectabilis

Eiders (pronounced /ˈ.dər/) are large seaducks in the genus Somateria.

The three extant species all breed in the cooler latitudes of the Northern hemisphere.

The down feathers of eider ducks, and some other ducks and geese, are used to fill pillows and quilts—they have given the name to the type of quilt known as an eiderdown.

Steller's eider, Polysticta stelleri, is in a different genus despite its name.[1]

Species[edit]

Two undescribed species are known from fossils, one from Middle Oligocene rocks in Kazakhstan and another from the Late Miocene or Early Pliocene of Lee Creek Mine, USA. The former may not actually belong in this genus.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Driver, Peter (1974). In Search of the Eider. Saturn Press. ISBN 0904196003.