Syrrhaptes

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Syrrhaptes
Syrrhaptes paradoxus.jpg
Pallas's sandgrouse
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pteroclidiformes
Family: Pteroclididae
Genus: Syrrhaptes
Illiger, 1811
Species

Syrrhaptes tibetanus
Syrrhaptes paradoxus

Syrrhaptes is a genus of birds in the sandgrouse family. The genus name is from Ancient Greek surrhaptos, "sewn together"; the feathered toes of birds in this genus are fused together.[1]

There are two central Asian species.

These are large birds breeding in open steppes or plateau. They nest in a ground scrape into which three eggs are laid.

Both species have mainly buff upperparts, an orange face and feathered legs and toes. They are smaller-headed than other sandgrouse, but have sturdy compact bodies.

The small feet lack a hind toe, and the three front toes are fused together. The upper surface is feathered, and the underneath has a fleshy pad. The appearance of the foot is more like a paw than an avian foot.[2]

Although there is range overlap, they are easily distinguished. Tibetan sandgrouse has a white belly and black underwings, whereas Pallas's has a black belly and white underwings.

These birds are gregarious like other sandgrouse. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk, on long pointed wings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 376. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4. 
  2. ^ van Grouw, Katrina (2012). Unfeathered Bird. Princeton University Press. pp. 242–243. ISBN 978-0691151342.