Opisthocomiformes

Families overview for this order

Monotypic family of uncertain affinities. Some morphological similarities with Galliformes, especially Cracidae. Recent work suggests relationship with Cuculiformes, near Crotophaginae; shares with some cuckoos (Cuculidae) and some turacos (Musophagidae) an ancestral adaptation of bill apparatus linked with food-processing#R, although anisodactyl toe structure quite different from zygodactyl arrangement of all cuckoos. Genetic studies suggested possible relationship with either cuckoos or turacos (latter supported by osteological, behavioural and fossil evidence)#R; another study, using both mitochondrial and nuclear genes, found Columbiformes as closest relative (weakly supported), to the exclusion of both Cuculidae and Musophagidae#R.

  • Large, gregarious, arboreal birds, with prominent crest, long tail and large wings.
  • N South America, E of Andes.
  • Tropical forested wetlands.