Formicariidae

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Formicariidae

Post by wangrong on Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:06 am

The Formicariidae, formicariids, or ground antbirds are a family of smallish passerine birds of subtropical and tropical Central and South America. They are between 10 and 20 cm (4-8 in) in length, and are related to the antbirds, Thamnophilidae, and gnateaters, Conopophagidae. This family contains probably (see below) some 100–120 species in 1 or 2 large and a number of fairly small genera.

These are forest birds that tend to feed on insects at or near the ground since many are specialist ant eaters. Most are drab in appearance with shades of (rusty) brown, black, and white being their dominant tones. Compared to other birds that specialize in following ants, this family is the most tied to the ground. The long, powerful legs (which lend the birds a distinctive upright posture) and an essentially vestigial tail aid this lifestyle.

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