Podiceps

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Podiceps
Grebe.jpg
Red-necked grebe (P. grisegena)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Podicipediformes
Family: Podicipedidae
Genus: Podiceps
Latham, 1787
Species

See text.

Podiceps is a genus of birds in the grebe family.

It has representatives breeding in Europe, Asia, North, and South America. Most northern hemisphere species migrate in winter to the coast or warmer climates.

They breed in vegetated areas of freshwater lakes, nesting on the water's edge, since their legs are set too far back for easy walking. Usually two eggs are laid, and the striped young may be carried on the adult's back.

All the genus are excellent swimmers and divers, and pursue their fish prey underwater.

Adults have striking breeding plumage, with no difference between the sexes. In winter, the plumage is subdued whites and greys.

Systematics[edit]

The black-necked, Colombian, silvery, and Junin grebes are very closely related and were formerly sometimes separated as the genus Dyas. The great grebe has also sometimes been separated as the sole member of the genus Podicephorus.[1]

One of the very oldest fossil grebes known to date actually belongs to this genus. Regarding grebes, the fossil record leaves much to be desired, being quite complete for the last 5 million years before present but very incomplete before the Pliocene.

Fossil species of Podiceps are:

  • Podiceps cf. auritus (Early Pliocene of Florida, USA) – formerly P. pisanus, P. howardae and Pliodytes lanquisti
  • Podiceps discors (Late Pliocene of WC USA)
  • Podiceps dixi (Late Pleistocene)
  • Podiceps oligocaenus (John Day Late Oligocene/Early Miocene)
  • Podiceps parvus (Late Pleistocene of W North America)
  • Podiceps subparvus (Middle Pliocene of California, USA)
  • Podiceps? sp. (Late Pliocene of WC USA)
  • Podiceps sp. (Early Pleistocene of Dursunlu, Turkey)[2]

Among the material assigned to P. parvus were bones of another species, which may or may not belong in this genus.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ *Louchart, Antoine; Mourer-Chauviré, Cécile; Guleç, Erksin; Howell, Francis Clark & White, Tim D. (1998). "L'avifaune de Dursunlu, Turquie, Pléistocène inférieur: climat, environnement et biogéographie". C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris IIA (in French with English abridged version) 327 (5): 341–346. doi:10.1016/S1251-8050(98)80053-0. 
  3. ^ Murray, Bertram G., Jr (1967). "Grebes from the Late Pliocene of North America". Condor 69 (3): 277–288. doi:10.2307/1366317.