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Aves - Neognathae - Podicipediformes - Podicipedidae - Aechmophorus - Aechmophorus occidentalis

Cranium (Skull) of a Aechmophorus occidentalis (Western Grebe)


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Species Description
The Western Grebe is the largest North American grebe. It is easily confused with Clark’s Grebe, which was until recently considered a subspecies of the Western Grebe; it is now classified as a separate species, though hybrids can be found in places where the two species’ ranges overlap. The Western Grebe eats primarily fish, which it catches by use of a specialized neck structure that allows the grebe to thrust its beak forward to spear fish. Like all grebes, it is a foot-propelled diving bird; while its backset legs make it an efficient swimmer, the Western Grebe is awkward on land, and can run only with great difficulty. During courtship displays, a pair of grebes will rear up onto their feet and patter together across the water.
Skeletal Elements Available

Sternum (Breast Bone)

Left Tarsometatarsus (Left Fused Element Consisting of Ankle and Middle Foot Bones)

Mandible (Jawbone )

Right Tarsometatarsus (Right Fused Element Consisting of Ankle and Middle Foot Bones)

Right Humerus (Right Upper Arm Bone)

Left Humerus (Left Upper Arm Bone)

Furcula (Wishbone)

Cranium (Skull)
External Links
Animal Diversity Web
Encyclopedia of Life
Wikipedia Western Grebe Page

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