This family includes the Cormorants and Darters, or Snake-birds, diving fishers with black or blackish plumage on the upper parts and, very often, on the lower also. The neck is long, the bill rather long and slender; the nostrils are small and not pervious ; cervical vertebras 20; ambiens, femoro-caudal and semi-tendinosus muscles present; the two accessory thigh-muscles absent; syringeal muscles present.
* There are two subfamilies, each containing in India a single genus, which are distinguished as follows: -
Key to Subfamilies.
A. Bill hooked at the tip; margins of commissure smooth……………..Phalacrocoracinae, p, 277.
B.Bill straight and pointed; margins toothed……………..Anhinginae, p. 282.