Tinamou Species Stock Video Footage


Tinamous are plump, compact birds with slender necks, small heads and, usually, short, decurved bills, though a few have long bills. Females are usually larger than the males. The smallest species, the dwarf tinamou, weighs about 43 g (1.5 oz) with a length of 14.5 cm (5.7 in). Females of the largest, the grey tinamou, weigh up to 2 kg (4.4 lb) with a length of up to 49 cm (19 in). Their feet have three forward-facing toes a hind toe is either higher and retrogressed, or absent. The back of the tarsus is covered with scales, the color of which may aid in identification. Tinamous have a pneumaticized skeleton with a sternal keel, 16–18 cervical vertebrae, and fused thoracic vertebrae. They have poor circulation, evidenced by a greenish tint to the skin. They also have relatively the smallest hearts and lungs of all birds, comprising only 1.6–3.1% of their body weight, whereas the equivalent in a domestic chicken is 12%. Despite their poor flying ability, the percentage of their body mass that is muscle is 28.6–40%, which is similar to that of hummingbirds. The preen gland is small and tufted. The male has a corkscrew shaped penis, similar to those of the ratites and to the hemipenis of some reptiles. The female has a small phallic organ in the cloaca which becomes larger during the breeding season. The plumage of the family is cryptic, as is usual with ground birds, with typical colors ranging through dark brown, rufous... Learn more about Tinamou

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