Order VIII. GRALLAE.
Since the 1st edition of this work was written further research work, especially that by Br. P. Lowe, has shown that certain modifications are necessary in the classification then adopted. It is, however, still believed that the Rails, Cranes and Bustards are nearer to one another than they are to other groups and should be retained in Blanford's Grallae. The interrelationship of these three groups is very intricate and further modifications may be required when this has been worked out, whilst it has already been shown that the Jacanae must either be removed from the Limicolae or Lari-Limicolae to the present Order, or else to an Order intermediate between the two.
In the Grallae the hind-toe when present is slightly raised except in the Jacanidae and Rostratulidae; the legs are generally long and part of the tibia is bare. All are schizognathous and none possess basypterygoid processes; the vomer is always present and the angle of the mandible is truncated; there are two carotids; nostrils pervious, except in Rhinochetus, ambiens muscle always present and caeca generally well developed; the deep flexor tendons are Galline except in Heliornithidae, whilst they are modified in the Otidae.
Key to Suborders.
A. Oil-gland tufted; a hallux present.
a. Holorhinal; sternum with a single notch, on each side…………..Fulicariae, p. 1.
a1. Sternum with two notches on each side.
a2. Toes long, claws greatly developed and very long………… Jacanae, p. 39.
b2. Toes and claws normal …………Rostratulae, P.44.
b1. Sternum without notches…………Balearicae, p. 48.
B. No oil-gland; holorhinal, sternum with two notches on each side; no hallux…………Otides, p. 59