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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: Galliformes

Subordo: Craci

Familia: Cracidae
Subfamilia: Penelopinae
Genera: AburriaChamaepetesOreophasisOrtalisPenelopePenelopinaPipile

The guans are a number of bird genera which make up the largest group in the family Cracidae. They are found mainly in northern South America, southern Central America, and a few adjacent Caribbean islands. There is also the peculiar horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus) which is not a true guan, but a very distinct and ancient cracid with no close living relatives (Pereira et al. 2002).
Systematics and evolution

The evolution of the group is fairly well resolved due to comprehensive analyses of morphology, biogeography, and mt and nDNA sequences (Pereira et al. 2002, Grau et al. 2005). The position of Penelopina and Chamaepetes - peculiar genera of which the former, uniquely among guans and more in line with curassows, shows pronounced sexual dimorphism - relative to each other is not determinable with certainty at present, but all evidence suggests that they are the basalmost guans. Their distribution is fairly far northwards, with 2 of their 3 species living in Central America. This indicates that the guans' origin is in the northern Andes region, in the general area of Colombia or perhaps Ecuador; the date of their initial radiation is not well resolved due to the lack of fossil evidence but can be very roughly placed around 40–25 mya (Oligocene, perhaps some time earlier). The two basal lineages diverged during the Burdigalian, around 20–15 mya.(Pereira et al. 2002)

The two larger genera diverged around the same time, spreading mainly southwards all over tropical South America in the process (Pereira et al. 2002). It appears as if the present-day distribution of the piping-guans is much relictual, due to climate changes fragmenting lowland habitat. Aburria were apparently being driven into refugia of suitable habitat time and again during the Late Pliocene by a combination of this and, possibly, competition with the more diverse and generally more adaptable Penelope (Grau et al. 2005).

If taken as a subfamily, the group also includes the chachalacas, but the horned guan is excluded and found in its monotypic subfamily.
Genera and species

Image Genus Living Species
Penelopina nigra -Guatemala-4.jpg Penelopina L. Reichenbach, 1861
  • Highland guan, Penelopina nigra
Gfp-horned-guan.jpg Oreophasis G.R. Gray, 1844
  • Horned guan. Oreophasis derbianus
Black guan Bosque de Paz.JPG Chamaepetes Wagler, 1832
  • Black guan, Chamaepetes unicolor
  • Sickle-winged guan, Chamaepetes goudotii
Chestnut-bellied Guan (Penelope ochrogaster) (30850197103).jpg Penelope Merrem, 1786
  • Band-tailed guan, Penelope argyrotis
  • Bearded guan, Penelope barbata
  • Baudo guan, Penelope ortoni
  • Andean guan, Penelope montagnii
  • Marail guan, Penelope marail
  • Rusty-margined guan, Penelope superciliaris
  • Red-faced guan, Penelope dabbenei
  • Crested guan, Penelope purpurascens
  • Cauca guan, Penelope perspicax
  • White-winged guan, Penelope albipennis
  • Spix's guan, Penelope jacquacu
  • Dusky-legged guan, Penelope obscura
  • White-crested guan, Penelope pileata
  • Chestnut-bellied guan, Penelope ochrogaster
  • White-browed guan, Penelope jacucaca
Wattled Guan (8079915812).jpg Aburria L. Reichenbach, 1853
  • Wattled guan, Aburria aburri
Aburria jacutinga -Parque das Aves-8.jpg Pipile- piping guans Bonaparte, 1856
  • Trinidad piping guan, Pipile pipile
  • Blue-throated piping guan, Pipile cumanensis
  • Red-throated piping guan, Pipile cujubi
  • Black-fronted piping guan, Pipile jacutinga


french, Richard; O'Neill, John Patton & Eckelberry, Don R. (1991): A guide to the birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition). Comstock Publishing, Ithaca, N.Y.. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2
Grau, Erwin T.; Pereira, Sérgio Luiz; Silveira, Luís Fábio; Höfling, Elizabeth & Wanjtal, Anita (2005): Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of Neotropical piping guans (Aves: Galliformes): Pipile Bonaparte, 1856 is synonym of Aburria Reichenbach, 1853. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 35: 637–645. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.12.004 PDF fulltext
Pereira, Sérgio Luiz; Baker, Allan J.& Wajntal, Anita (2002): Combined nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences resolve generic relationships within the Cracidae (Galliformes, Aves). Systematic Biology 51(6): 946–958. doi:10.1080/10635150290102519 PMID 12554460 PDF fulltext

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