Cariamidae – Seriemas

Red-legged Seriema (Cariama cristata) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

Red-legged Seriema (Cariama cristata) by Lee

So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. (Genesis 2:20 NKJV)

CLASS – AVES, Order – CARIAMIFORMES, Family – Cariamidae – Seriemas

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Species (2)

Red-legged Seriema (Cariama cristata)
Black-legged Seriema (Chunga burmeisteri)


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The seriemas are the sole extant members of the small and ancient clade Cariamidae, which is also the sole surviving lineage of the Cariamae group. Once believed to be related to cranes, they have been placed by one recent study near the falcons, parrots and passerines, as well as the extinct terror birds. The seriemas are large, long-legged terrestrial birds that range from 70 to 90 cm. They live in grasslands, savanna, dry woodland and open forests of Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. There are two species of seriesmas, the Red-legged Seriema (Cariama cristata) and the Black-legged Seriema (Chunga burmeisteri). Names for these birds in the Tupian languages are siriema, sariama, çariama, which are explained as meaning “crested” (New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary). (Wikipedia with editing)

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