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|Grey crowned crane (Balearica regulorum)|
The species today occur only in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert, and are the only cranes that can nest in trees. This habitat is one reason the relatively small Balearica cranes are believed to closely resemble the ancestral members of the Gruidae.
The genus Balearica was erected by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the black crowned crane (Balearica pavonina) as the type species. The name is from the Latin Baliaricus for "of the Balearic Islands".
|Image||Scientific name||Common Name||Distribution|
|B. pavonina||black crowned crane||Africa south of the Sahara|
|B. regulorum||grey crowned crane||east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Uganda, Angola south to South Africa|
Crowned cranes seem to have been more widespread prehistorically. Compared to the true cranes, genus Grus, which were always common in the Holarctic and adjacent regions, the present genus appears to have had a more Atlantic distribution, ranging into Europe and North America; it is not known from the fossil record of Asia.
- Balearica rummeli (Early Miocene of Germany) – formerly Basityto
- Balearica excelsa (Early–Middle Miocene of France) – formerly Grus and Ornithocnemus
- Balearica exigua (Miocene of Nebraska)
- "ITIS Report: Balearica". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- Peters, James Lee, ed. (1934). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 154.
- Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode contenant la division des oiseaux en ordres, sections, genres, especes & leurs variétés (in French and Latin). Volume 1. Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. p. 48.
- Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode contenant la division des oiseaux en ordres, sections, genres, especes & leurs variétés (in French and Latin). Volume 5. Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. p. 511.
- Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
- global A network of scientists and conservationists (1 February 2013). "The Cranes: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan: Evolution and Classification". U.S. Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 20 March 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
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