Eurasian cranes Grus grus, photographed by Nicole Bouglouan.

Belongs within: Grues.

The Gruidae are the cranes, large long-legged and -necked birds found in the Old World and North America. Within the cranes, it is generally agreed that the African crowned cranes (Balearica) are the sister taxon to the remaining living species (Livezey 1998).

Synapomorphies (from Livezey 1998): Os lacrimale with processus orbitalis highly pneumatic, having one or more conspicuous foramina pneumatica on facies lateralis; carina sterni, margo cranialis, with sulcus carinae deep and ventrally extensive; depressio m. brachialis of extremitas proximalis ulnae with prominent crista brachialis proximally; margo dorsalis of extremitas distalis radii with expansion producing approximate symmetry with tuberculum aponeurosis; condylus lateralis of extremitas distalis tibiotarsi flattened or notched distally; fossa parahypotarsalis medialis, distal extent relative to hypotarsus, with crista medialis hypotarsi narrow or obsolete; scapulars with conspicuous elongation combined with ventral curvature; 19-25 secondary remiges.

    |  i. s.: Paragrus prentici FP64
    |         Palaeogrus Portis 1884 M02
    |           |--*P. princeps Portis 1884 (see below for synonymy) M02
    |           `--P. hordwelliensis (Lydekker 1891) [=Grus hordwelliensis, Ornitocnemus hordwelliensis] M02
    |         Geranopsis Lydekker 1891 M02
    |           `--*G. hastingsiae Lydekker 1891 M02
    |--Balearica Brisson 1760 L98, M02 [Balearicinae]
    |    |--B. excelsa (Milne-Edwards 1868) [=Grus excelsa, Ornitocnemus excelsa, Palaeogrus excelsa] M02
    |    |--B. pavonina (Linnaeus 1758) L98
    |    `--B. regulorum (Bennett 1833) L98
    `--Gruinae [Megalornithinae] L98
         |--Anthropoides Vieillot 1816 [Anthropoidinae, Anthropodini] L98
         |    |--A. paradisea (Lichtenstein 1793) L98 [=Grus paradisea ZJM03]
         |    `--A. virgo (Linnaeus 1758) L98 [=Grus virgo ZJM03]
         `--Gruini L98
              |--Bugeranus Gloger 1841 L98
              |    `--B. carunculatus (Gmelin 1789) [=Grus carunculatus] L98
              `--+--Leucogeranus Bonaparte 1855 L98
                 |    `--*L. leucogeranus (Pallas 1773) L98, M02 [=Grus leucogeranus M02]
                 `--Grus Pallas 1766 L98, M02 [incl. Megalornis Gray 1841 B94]
                      |  i. s.: G. marshi FP64
                      |         G. moldavica (Kuročkin & Ganea 1972) [=Probalearica moldavica] M02
                      |         G. pentelici Gaudry 1862 (see below for synonymy) M02
                      |         G. primigenia Milne-Edwards 1869 (see below for synonymy) M02
                      |--G. canadensis (Linnaeus 1758) LL98
                      |    |--G. c. canadensis USDI77
                      |    |--G. c. nesiotes USDI77
                      |    `--G. c. pulla USDI77
                      `--+--+--G. vipio Pallas 1811 L98
                         |  `--+--G. antigone (Linnaeus 1758) L98, M02
                         |     |    |--G. a. antigone SU93
                         |     |    `--G. a. sharpii SU93
                         |     `--G. rubicunda (Perry 1810) L98
                         `--+--G. monacha Temminck 1835 L98
                            `--+--*G. grus (Linnaeus 1758) B94, L98, M02 (see below for synonymy)
                               |    |--G. g. grus I92
                               |    `--G. g. lilfordi Sharpe 1894 I92
                               `--+--G. nigricollis Prezhwalsky 1876 L98
                                  `--+--G. americana (Linnaeus 1758) L98
                                     `--G. japonensis (Müller 1776) L98

*Grus grus (Linnaeus 1758) B94, L98, M02 [=Ardea grus M02; incl. G. turfa Portis 1884 M02]

Grus pentelici Gaudry 1862 [=Pliogrus pentelici; incl. G. afghana Mourer-Chauviré, Balouet et al. 1985] M02

Grus primigenia Milne-Edwards 1869 [incl. Sarcogeranus bohatshevi Serebrovskij 1940, G. leucogeranus bogatshevi (l. c.), Leucogeranus bohatschevi, G. melitensis Lydekker 1890] M02

*Palaeogrus princeps Portis 1884 [=Grus princeps, Ornitocnemis robustus Zigno in Portis 1884 (n. n.), Ornitocnemus robustus] M02

*Type species of generic name indicated


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

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

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[L98] Livezey, B. C. 1998. A phylogenetic analysis of the Gruiformes (Aves) based on morphological characters, with an emphasis on the rails (Rallidae). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B – Biological Sciences 353: 2077-2151.

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

[SU93] Sonobe, K., & S. Usui (eds.) 1993. A Field Guide to the Waterbirds of Asia. Wild Bird Society of Japan: Tokyo.

[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.

[ZJM03] Zeffer, A., L. C. Johansson & Å. Marmebro. 2003. Functional correlation between habitat use and leg morphology in birds (Aves). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 79: 461-484.

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