Physical characteristics Tinamous -

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Physical characteristics Tinamous

Birds > Group of birds > Tinamous-Tinamidae

Powder down and a preen gland are present. In contrast to gallinaceous birds, they do not scratch for food with their feet, but do use their feet to dig nest scrapes. A copulatory organ is present. The plumage is inconspicuous, although crown feathers of some species can be raised as a crest. Males and females have similar plumage, or females may be somewhat brighter in color and often larger than males.

Length 8–21 in (20–53 cm), weight 0.09–5 lb (43–2,300 g). Tinamous are ground birds with a compact form, a slender neck, a small head, and a short, slender bill that curves slightly downward. The wings are short and capacity for flight is poor.

The feet are strong; there are three well-developed forward toes, and the hind toe is in a high position and either retrogressed or absent. The tail is very short and in some species it is hidden under tail coverts; this and abundant rump feathering give the body a rounded shape.

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