The Geese live more on land and less on water than the remainder of the family do ; they generally feed on grass or other green vegetable food ; some forms, however, feed on marine plants. They are heavily built birds, but good walkers, having the legs more in the middle of the body than Ducks have. The sexes are alike, or nearly so, and there appears to be only one moult of all the feathers, which takes place soon after the young are hatched. The plumage is dull, and there is no coloured speculum on the wing-secondaries. The legs are strong, the tarsus considerably" longer than the bill and reticulated throughout.
The most important anatomical peculiarity is the absence of the bony bulb (labyrinth or bulba ossea) that is found at the lower end of the trachea in the males of nearly all Anatinae and Merginae.
The Anserinae comprise six genera, chiefly of Boreal distribution ; only one is known to occur in India.