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Aves - Neognathae - Anseriformes - Anatidae - Anser - Anser caerulescens atlantica

Sternum (Breast Bone) of a Anser caerulescens atlantica (Greater snow goose)

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Species Description
The Snow Goose (or Blue Goose) is a common sight in North America during the spring and fall migration periods. The Snow Goose spends roughly half the year migrating, moving from its breeding grounds in the tundra of northern Canada to winter feeding grounds in the southern United States and Mexico. Females are highly philopatric, and will return to the same place where they were born to breed; Snow Geese mate for life, and the family stays together during the first migration. Like most waterfowl, the Snow Goose is herbivorous, eating seeds and leaves; during migration, it will take advantage of wasted grain in agricultural areas. Its numbers decimated in the early 1900s, the Snow Goose’s numbers have rebounded so much that it is seen as a pest in populated areas along its migration route.

There are two subspecies of the Snow Goose: the Lesser (C. caerluscens caerluscens) and Greater (C. caerluscens atlanticus) Snow Goose. The Lesser Snow Goose has two color morphs (white and blue) and is able to hybridize with Ross’ Goose. It breeds along Queen Maud Gulf, Baffin Island, Hudson Bay and the Northwest Territories, while wintering in the Central Valley of California and along the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana and Mexico. The Greater Snow Goose looks like a slightly larger edition of the white-phase Lesser Snow Goose. It breeds around Foxe Basin, Northern Baffin and the Ellesmere Islands of Nunavut and Greenland; in the winter, it migrates down to the mid-Atlantic coasts (from New Jersey to North Carolina). In the field, it is difficult to tell the two subspecies apart (save for the Lesser Snow Goose’s blue morph), but the longer bill of the Greater Snow Goose helps to distinguish it from its smaller counterpart.
Skeletal Elements Available

Sternum (Breast Bone)

Left Humerus (Left Upper Arm Bone)

Right Ulna (Lower Arm Bone )

Left Radius (Lower Arm Bone)

Right Radius (Lower Arm Bone )

Furcula (Wishbone)

Left Tibiotarsus and Fibula (Left Middle Leg Bones)

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

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

Right Tibiotarsus (Middle Leg Bone, Right)

Right Femur (Right Femur)

Left Femur (Left Upper Leg Bone)
External Links
Animal Diversity Web
Encyclopedia of Life

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