They are typically about 32 cm (13 in) long omnivorous birds, eating insects, small millipedes and plant material. Urocolius indicus in particular eats a great deal of fruit, leaves, buds, flowers, nectar and similar material.
"Urocolius" archiaci, "U." consobrinus and "U." paludicola are 3 taxa described from fragmentary Early Miocene remains found at Saint-Gérand-le-Puy in France. Their taxonomic history is convoluted, being initially described as woodpeckers and variously merged and split. Today it is believed that they at least 2 belong into a prehistoric genus Limnatornis, but sometimes they are all united under the first of the 3 names although it is not clear with what justification. The same rationales presumably apply for undescribed but similar remains found in Late Miocene strata af Kohfidisch (Austria).
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