Order XVII. LIMICOLAE.

The bulk of the present order consists of the Plovers and Snipes with their allies; with these are united the Stone-Curlews, Coursers, Pratincoles, and Jacanas, besides two Neotropical and Antarctic families (Chionididae and Thinocoridae) not represented in India. The birds named form a fairly natural group, having distinct relations on one side with the Gulls, and being connected on the other by the Plovers with Pterocles and the Pigeons, and through Oedicnemus with the Bustards.

In the Limicolae the bill varies greatly, but is generally slender, and the nostril is situated in a groove or depression at the side of the bill. The tibia, with but few exceptions, is naked for some distance above the tibio-tarsal joint. The wings as a rule are long, and most of the birds are strong flyers; many are migratory. The spinal feather-tract is forked on the upper back except in Oedicnemidae, and the dorsal naked tract or apterium is well developed anteriorly. An aftershaft is always present, but varies in size. There are eleven primary quills ; the fifth secondary is wanting. There is a tufted oil-gland, and caeca are always present.

The palate is schizognathous *, and the vomer well developed, pointed in front; basipterygoid processes vary. The furcula is U-shaped, strong, and complete. The sternum has usually two notches on each side of the posterior border, but there are several exceptions with only one pair of incisions. Two carotids are always present.

The eggs vary, but are in general pale brown or olive, and double-spotted. The young are hatched covered with down and able to run.

Indian families of Limicola; are thus distinguished.

a. Holorhinal; nostrils pervious…………………………Oedicnemidae, p. 203.
b. Schizorhinal *.
a1 Nostrils impervious…………………………Glareolidae, p. 209.
b1. Nostrils pervious.
a2. No basipterygoid processes…………………………Dromadidae, p. 207.
b2. Basipterygoid processes present.
a3. Toes and claws enormously long…………………………Parridae, p. 207.
b3. Toes and claw's moderate …………………………Charadriidae, p. 220.

* The skull of Charadrius pluvialis, the Golden Plover, is figured, Vol. III,

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Reference: 
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
Order XVII. LIMICOLAE.
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1898
Page No: 
202
Volume: 
Vol. 4
id: 
2030

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