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Aves - Neognathae - Gaviiformes - Gaviidae - Gavia - Gavia stellata

Sternum (Breast Bone) of a Gavia stellata (Red-throated Loon)


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Species Description
The Red-Throated Loon is the most widely distributed member of the loon family, breeding in the Arctic and wintering in southern Europe and North America (extending as far south as Mexico). It is the smallest and lightest of the loons, and is the only member of the family able to take off from and land directly on land or water. It is primarily a fish eater, but it also eats mollusks, crustaceans and aquatic insects; the Red-Throated Loon uses it feet to propel itself through the water, but will use its wings for acceleration or turning. As recently as the 1800s, Red-Throated Loon behavior has been used to predict the weather, with its flight patterns and calls believed to determine whether or not it will rain; in the Orkney Islands of Scotland, it is called the Rain Goose for this reason.
Skeletal Elements Available

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

Sternum (Breast Bone)
External Links
Animal Diversity Web
Encyclopedia of Life
Wikipedia Red-throated Diver Page

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