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Urocolius macrourus-20090110B.jpg
Blue-naped mousebird
Urocolius macrourus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coliiformes
Family: Coliidae
Subfamily: Urocoliinae
Genus: Urocolius
Bonaparte, 1854

Urocolius indicus
Urocolius macrourus

Red-faced mousebird Urocolius indicus in flight

Urocolius is a small genus of mousebirds. It consists of two species which inhabit Eastern and Southern Africa:

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.[1]

"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).[2]


  1. ^ Maclean, Gordon Lindsay. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa Publisher: New Holland 1993. ISBN 978-0620175838
  2. ^ Mlíkovský, Jirí (2002): Cenozoic Birds of the World, Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press, Prague. ISBN 80-901105-3-8 PDF fulltext

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