Rufous-vented chachalaca Ortalis ruficauda, photographed by Steve Garvie.

Belongs within: Galliformes.

The Cracidae are a Neotropical family of gamebirds including the chachalacas, curassows and guans. Many cracids have heads with brightly coloured wattles or skin patches. The curassows of the genera Crax, Nothocrax, Pauxi and Mitu include the largest members of the family, reaching the size of a turkey. Curassows are sexually dimorphic, with females generally duller in coloration than the males; both species possess an erectile crest (Austin 1961).

Synapomorphies (from Dyke et al. 2003): Processus postorbitalis approaching, but not completely fused with, orbit; rostrum long, deep, markedly recurved; angled extension projecting from distal end of processus lateralis of coracoid.

<==Cracidae [Craciformes, Cracoidea]
    |  i. s.: Procrax Tordoff & Macdonald 1957 FP64, MW04
    |           `--P. brevipes FP64
    |         Taoperdix Milne-Edwards 1869 M02
    |           |--*T. pessieti (Gervais 1862) [=Tetrao pessieti] M02
    |           `--T. miocaena Ballmann 1969 M02
    |--+--Penelopina nigra BKB15
    |  `--+--Chamaepetes BKB15
    |     |    |--C. goudotii JT12
    |     |    `--C. unicolor PT03
    |     `--Penelope Merrem 1786 JT12, B94 [Penelopidae]
    |          |  i. s.: P. albipennis JT12
    |          |         P. barbata JT12
    |          |         P. cristata S18
    |          |         P. dabbenei JT12
    |          |         P. greeyii Gray 1866 G66
    |          |         P. jacucaca JT12
    |          |         P. marail JT12
    |          |         P. nigricapilla Gray 1860 G66
    |          |         P. ortoni JT12
    |          |         P. perspicax JT12
    |          |         P. pileata JT12
    |          |--P. montagnii BKB15
    |          `--+--P. jacquacu BKB15
    |             `--+--+--P. purpurascens BKB15
    |                |  |    |--P. p. purpurascens L81
    |                |  |    `--P. p. aequitorialis L81
    |                |  `--+--P. superciliaris BKB15
    |                |     `--+--P. argyrotis BKB15
    |                |        `--+--P. obscura BKB15
    |                |           `--P. ochrogaster BKB15
    |                `--Pipile Bonaparte 1856 BKB15, B94 [Pipilidae]
    |                     |--P. jacutinga JT12
    |                     `--+--Aburria Reichenbach 1853 JT12, B94
    |                        |    `--A. aburri JT12
    |                        `--+--P. cujubi JT12
    |                           `--+--+--P. cumanensis JT12
    |                              |  `--P. nattereri BKB15
    |                              `--+--P. grayi BKB15
    |                                 `--P. pipile BKB15
    `--+--Oreophasis Gray 1844 JT12, B94 [Oreophaseidae]
       |    `--O. derbianus USDI77
       `--+--Ortalis JT12
          |    |  i. s.: O. erythroptera JT12
          |    |         O. pollicaris FP64
          |    |         O. superciliaris JT12
          |    |         O. wagleri A61
          |    |--O. motmot JT12
          |    `--+--+--O. leucogastra JT12 [=O. vetula leucogastra FS55]
          |       |  `--O. vetula JT12
          |       |       |--O. v. vetula L81
          |       |       `--O. v. mccalli L81
          |       `--+--O. cinereiceps BKB15 [=O. garrula cincereiceps L81]
          |          |--+--O. pantanalensis BKB15
          |          |  `--O. poliocephala BKB15
          |          `--+--O. canicollis BKB15
          |             `--+--O. guttata BKB15
          |                `--+--O. garrula JT12
          |                   `--O. ruficauda JT12
          `--+--Crax Linnaeus 1758 JT12, B94
             |    |  i. s.: C. panamensis S18
             |    |         C. pauxi C04
             |    |--C. blumenbachii BKB15
             |    `--+--+--C. daubentoni BKB15
             |       |  `--+--C. alberti BKB15
             |       |     `--C. rubra Linnaeus 1758 BKB15, C04
             |       `--+--C. globulosa BKB15
             |          `--+--C. alector BKB15
             |             `--C. fasciolata BKB15
             `--+--Nothocrax urumutum BKB15
                `--+--Pauxi pauxi BKB15
                   |    |--P. p. pauxi PP62
                   |    `--P. p. gilliardi PP62
                   `--Mitu JT12
                        |--M. mitu JT12
                        `--+--M. tomentosum JT12
                           `--+--M. salvini JT12
                              `--+--M. tuberosum JT12
                                 `--‘Pauxi’ unicornis JT12 [=P. pauxi unicornis PP62]
                                      |--P. u. unicornis HSS13
                                      `--P. u. koepckeae HSS13

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Austin, O. L., Jr. 1961. Birds of the World: A survey of the twenty-seven orders and one hundred and fifty-five families. Paul Hamlyn: London.

[B94] Bock, W. J. 1994. History and nomenclature of avian family-group names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 222: 1–281.

[BKB15] Burleigh, J. G., R. T. Kimball & E. L. Braun. 2015. Building the avian tree of life using a large-scale, sparse supermatrix. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 53–63.

[C04] Clarke, J. A. 2004. Morphology, phylogenetic taxonomy, and systematics of Ichthyornis and Apatornis (Avialae: Ornithurae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 286: 1–179.

Dyke, G. J., B. E. Gulas & T. M. Crowe. 2003. Suprageneric relationships of galliform birds (Aves, Galliformes): a cladistic analysis of morphological characters. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 137 (2): 227–244.

[FS55] Felten, H., & J. Steinbacher. 1955. Zur Vogelfauna von El Salvador. Senckenbergiana Biologica 36 (1–2): 9–19.

[FP64] Fisher, J., & R. T. Peterson. 1964. The World of Birds: A comprehensive guide to general ornithology. Macdonald: London.

[G66] Gray, G. R. 1866. On a new species of Penelope, lately living in the Society's gardens. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 206.

[HSS13] Hirschfeld, E., A. Swash & R. Still. 2013. The World's Rarest Birds. Princeton University Press: Princeton (New Jersey).

[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444–448.

[L81] Long, J. L. 1981. Introduced Birds of the World: The worldwide history, distribution and influence of birds introduced to new environments. Reed: Sydney.

[MW04] Mayr, G., & I. Weidig. 2004. The Early Eocene bird Gallinuloides wyomingensis—a stem group representative of Galliformes. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 49 (2): 211–217.

[M02] Mlíkovský, J. 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World. Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press: Praha.

[PP62] Phelps, W. H., & W. H. Phelps, Jr. 1962. Two new subspecies of birds from Venezuela, the rufous phase of Pauxi pauxi, and other notes. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 75: 199–204.

[PT03] Prum, R. O., & R. Torres. 2003. Structural colouration of avian skin: Convergent evolution of coherently scattering dermal collagen arrays. Journal of Experimental Biology 206: 2409–2429.

[S18] Stone, W. 1918. Birds of the Panama Canal Zone, with special reference to a collection made by Mr. Lindsey L. Jewel. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 70: 239–280.

[USDI77] USDI (United States Department of the Interior). 1977. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants—republication of list of species. Federal Register 42: 36420–36431.

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