Schizorhinal; nostrils pervious, and situated some distance from the base of the bill, but nearer to it than to the tip; basipterygoid processes present; cervical vertebras 16. A spur or tubercle on the carpal joint of the wing. Pour toes, all greatly lengthened, and with very long and straight claws, that of the hallux or hind toe especially long. According to Gadow, despite the long hallux, the deep plantar tendons are of the same type as in three-toed birds, the two tendons uniting and the united tendon dividing into three to supply the three anterior toes, besides sending off a short branch to the hallux (Bronn's Klass. u. Ordn. vi, 4, p. 224). The eggs are exceedingly glossy, uniformly olive in Hydrophasianus, peculiarly marked all over in other genera with a confused tangle of black lines.
The Jacanas (properly the c is soft and the accent is on the last syllable) are a tropical family of marsh birds distinguished by their enormously long toes, which enable them to run over the floating leaves of water-lilies and similar plants. Two genera are Indian.
Key to the Genera.
a. A frontal lappet; primaries not produced at the end…………………………METOPIDIUS, p. 218.
b. No frontal lappet; ends of 1st and 4th primaries produced and attenuated…………………………HYDROPHASIANUS, p. 219.