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|Grey crowned crane|
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.
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.
- 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. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
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