Schizognathous and schizorhinal birds with 17 to 20 cervical vertebras and, as a rule, without notches on the posterior border of the sternum. Oil-gland tufted. Caeca present. Deep flexors Galline. Ambiens present, also the semitendinosus and accessory semitendinosus ; the femoro-caudal and its accessory are wanting in one genus, Balearica, present in others. The young are hatched clad in down, and run at once.
Besides the true Cranes or Gruidae, the American Aramidae and Psophidae are referred to this suborder.