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Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Ciconiiformes
Familia: Threskiornithidae
Subfamilia: Threskiornithinae
Genera: Bostrychia - Cercibis - Eudocimus - Geronticus - Lophotibis - Mesembrinibis - Nipponia - Phimosus - Plegadis - Pseudibis - Theristicus - Threskiornis



Vernacular name
Deutsch: Ibisse
English: Ibis
Esperanto: Ibisoj
Français: Ibis
日本語: トキ亜科
Kiswahili: Kwarara
Nederlands: Ibis
Polski: Ibisy
Português: Ibis
Русский: Ибис

The ibises (collective plural ibis[1]; classical plurals ibides[2][3] and ibes[3]) are a group of long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae.

They all have long down curved bills, and usually feed as a group, probing mud for food items, usually crustaceans. Most species nest in trees, often with spoonbills or herons.

The word ibis comes from Greek and Latin, and probably from the Ancient Egyptian.[4] According to Josephus, Moses employed ibes against serpents during a desert campaign into Ethiopia in his early life.[5] Pliny the Elder also recounted, “The Egyptians invoked [ibes] against the serpents.” [6]

Species in taxonomic order

* Genus Threskiornis
o Sacred Ibis, Threskiornis aethiopicus
o Madagascar Sacred Ibis, Threskiornis bernieri
o Réunion Sacred Ibis, Threskiornis solitarius extinct
o Black-headed Ibis, Threskiornis melanocephalus
o Australian White Ibis, Threskiornis molucca
o Straw-necked Ibis, Threskiornis spinicollis
* Genus Pseudibis
o Indian Black Ibis, Pseudibis papillosa
o White-shouldered Ibis, Pseudibis davisoni
* Genus Thaumatibis
o Giant Ibis, Thaumatibis gigantea
* Genus Geronticus
o Northern Bald Ibis, Geronticus eremita
o Southern Bald Ibis, Geronticus calvus
* Genus Nipponia
o Japanese Crested Ibis, Nipponia nippon
* Genus Bostrychia
o Olive Ibis, Bostrychia olivacea
o Dwarf Olive Ibis, Bostrychia bocagei
o Spot-breasted Ibis, Bostrychia rara
o Hadada Ibis, Bostrychia hagedash
o Wattled Ibis, Bostrychia carunculata
* Genus Theristicus
o Plumbeous Ibis, Theristicus caerulescens
o Buff-necked Ibis, Theristicus caudatus
o Black-faced Ibis, Theristicus melanopis
* Genus Cercibis
o Sharp-tailed Ibis, Cercibis oxycerca
* Genus Mesembrinibis
o Green Ibis, Mesembrinibis cayennensis
* Genus Phimosus
o Whispering Ibis, Phimosus infuscatus
* Genus Eudocimus
o American White Ibis, Eudocimus albus
o Scarlet Ibis, Eudocimus ruber
* Genus Plegadis
o Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
o White-faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi
o Puna Ibis, Plegadis ridgwayi
* Genus Lophotibis
o Madagascar Crested Ibis, Lophotibis cristata

An extinct species, the Jamaican Flightless Ibis or Clubbed-wing Ibis (Xenicibis xympithecus) was uniquely characterized by its club-like wings.

In culture

The Sacred Ibis was an object of religious veneration in ancient Egypt, particularly associated with the god, Thoth. At the town of Hermopolis, ibises were reared specifically for sacrificial purposes and in the Serapeum at Saqqara, archaeologists found the mummies of one and a half million ibises and hundreds of thousands of falcons.[7]

According to local legend in the Birecik area, the Northern Bald Ibis was one of the first birds that Noah released from the Ark as a symbol of fertility,[8] and a lingering religious sentiment in Turkey helped the colonies there to survive long after the demise of the species in Europe.[9]

The mascot of the University of Miami is an American White Ibis. The ibis was selected as the school mascot because of its legendary bravery during hurricanes. The ibis is the last sign of wildlife to take shelter before a hurricane hits and the first to reappear once the storm has passed. [10] By the same token, the short story The Scarlet Ibis used the hearty bird's appearance and untimely demise inland to foreshadow one of the central character's death.[11]

The Sacred Ibis is the unit symbol of the Israeli Special Forces unit known as Unit 212 or Maglan in Hebrew: מגלן.


1. ^ "ibis". Dictionary.com Unabridged. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ibis. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
2. ^ C. A. M. Fennell, ed (1892). The Stanford dictionary of Anglicised words and phrases. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 453. OCLC 1354115. http://books.google.com/books?id=8vRaAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA453. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
3. ^ a b Pierce, Robert Morris (1910). Dictionary of Hard Words. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company. p. 270. OCLC 4177508. http://books.google.com/books?id=f3pCHOg3OEsC&pg=RA1-PA270. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
4. ^ Chambers Dictionary
5. ^ Josephus, Flavius and William Whiston. The Works of Josephus : Complete and Unabridged. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996, "Antiquities" 2.246.
6. ^ Josephus, Flavius and William Whiston. The Works of Josephus : Complete and Unabridged. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996, "Antiquities" 2.246, footnote referencing Natural History (Pliny) 10.28.
7. ^ Fleming, Furgus; Alan Lothian; Duncan Baird Publishers. The Way to Eternity: Egyptian Myth. Amsterdam: Time-Life Books. 1997. pp. 66-67
8. ^ Shuker, Karl (2003). The Beasts That Hide from Man: Seeking the World's Last Undiscovered Animals. Cosimo. pp. 166–168. ISBN 1931044643. "Dreams of a feathered Geronticus"
9. ^ Beintema, Nienke. "Saving a charismatic bird" (PDF). AEWA Secretariat. http://www.unep-aewa.org/publications/saving_charismatic_bird.pdf. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
10. ^ Hurricane sports
11. ^ The Scarlet Ibis

Biology Encyclopedia

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Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License