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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Galloanseres
Ordo: Anseriformes

Familia: Anatidae
Subfamilia: Oxyurinae
Genus: Oxyura
Species: O. australis – O. ferruginea – O. jamaicensis – O. leucocephala - O. maccoa - O. vittata – †O. vantetsi


Oxyura Bonaparte, 1828

Annals of Lyceum of Natural History of New York 2 p.390


Nomenclator Zoologicus

Vernacular names
English: Stiff-tailed ducks
français: Érismatures
русский: Савки
svenska: Kopparänder
中文: 硬尾鸭属

The stiff-tailed ducks, Oxyura, are part of the Oxyurini tribe of ducks. The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek oxus, "sharp", and oura, "tail".[1]

All have, as their name implies, long, stiff tail feathers, which are erected when the bird is resting. All have relatively large, swollen bills. These are freshwater diving ducks. Their legs are set far back, which makes them awkward on land, so they rarely leave the water.

Their unusual displays involve drumming noises from inflatable throat sacs, head throwing, and erecting short crests. Plumage sequences are complicated, and aging difficult. Plumage is vital for survival because of this animals tendency to spend time in the water.

The six extant members of this genus in summation are distributed widely throughout North America, South America, Australia, Asia, and much of Africa.

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Blue-billed-duck.jpg O. australis Blue-billed duck Australia
Ruddy Duck - Flickr - treegrow.jpg O. jamaicensis Ruddy duck North and South America (+ England,[2] France, & Spain (introduced))
Rm pb erismature des andes. wiki.jpg O. ferruginea Andean duck Andes Mountains of South America
Oxyura leucocephala, Clot-de-Galvany, Alicante 1.jpg O. leucocephala White-headed duck Spain, North Africa, and western and central Asia
Oxyura maccoa.jpg O. maccoa Maccoa duck eastern Africa from Sudan and Ethiopia to Tanzania and west to eastern Zaire, and southern Africa from Zimbabwe to Cape Province, South Africa
Argentine Blue bill (Oxyura vittata) RWD.jpg O. vittata Lake duck central Chile, Argentina and southern Uruguay

A fossil species from the Late Pliocene or Early Pleistocene of Jalisco (Mexico) was described as Oxyura zapatanima. It resembled a small ruddy duck or, even more, an Argentine blue-bill. A larger Middle Pleistocene fossil form from the southwestern United States was described as Oxyura bessomi; it was probably quite close to the ruddy duck.

"Oxyura" doksana from the Early Miocene of Dolnice (Czech Republic) cannot be assigned to any anatine subfamily with certainty.[3]

Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 287. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Mullarney, Killian; et al. (2001). Bird Guide. Collins. p. 68. ISBN 0-00-711332-3.

Worthy et al. (2007)

Further reading

Worthy, Trevor H.; Tennyson, A.J.D.; Jones, C.; McNamara, J.A. & Douglas, B.J. (2007): Miocene waterfowl and other birds from central Otago, New Zealand. J. Syst. Palaeontol. 5(1): 1-39. doi:10.1017/S1477201906001957 (HTML abstract)

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