Anastomus Bonaterre, Tabl. Encyc. Meth. Orn.^i. p. xcii (1790).
Type by mon., Ardea oscitans Bodd.
The curious bill of this Stork at once distinguishes it from all others. When adult there is an open space between the mandibles for about two-thirds of their length in the middle; the bill is stout and strong, the gonys is considerably curved and the anterior half of the upper mandible is furnished with lamella; the face, chin and throat are naked in adults, feathered all but the lores in juveniles; the tarsus is about equal to the culmen in length and is reticulated throughout; the toes and claws are longer than in other genera of the Ciconiidae. It was formerly supposed that the gap between the mandibles was caused by attrition due to the hard shells of the mollusca upon which this Stork largely feeds but this is now known not to be the case.