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Mergini

Sea ducks
Harlequin duck, Histrionicus histrionicus (male)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anatinae
Tribe: Mergini
Rafinesque, 1815
Genera

Clangula
Histrionicus
Polysticta
Camptorhynchus
Somateria
Melanitta
Bucephala
Mergellus
Lophodytes
Mergus

The sea ducks (Mergini) are a tribe of the duck subfamily of birds, the Anatinae. The taxonomy of this group is incomplete. Some authorities separate the group as a subfamily, while others remove some genera. Most species within the group spend their winters near coastal waters. Many species have developed specialized salt glands to allow them to tolerate salt water, but these are poorly developed in juveniles. Some of the species prefer riverine habitats. All but two of the 22 species in this group live in far northern latitudes.

The fish-eating members of this group, such as the mergansers and smew, have serrated edges to their bills to help them grip their prey and are often known as "sawbills". Other sea ducks forage by diving underwater, taking molluscs or crustaceans from the sea floor. The Mergini take on the eclipse plumage during the late summer and molt into their breeding plumage during the winter.

Species

There are twenty-two species in ten genera:

Below is a phylogeny based on a mitogenomic study of the placement of the Labrador duck and the diving "goose" Chendytes lawi.[1]

Mergini

Clangula hyemalis

Histrionicus histrionicus

Polysticta stelleri

Camptorhynchus labradorius

Somateria fischeri

Somateria mollissima

Somateria spectabilis

Melanitta nigra

Melanitta deglandi

Melanitta perspicillata

Bucephala albeola

Bucephala clangula

Bucephala islandica

Mergellus albellus

Mergus serrator

Lophodytes cucullatus

Mergus merganser

Mergus octosetaceus

Mergus squamatus

References

  1. ^ Janet C. Buckner; Ryan Ellingson; David A. Gold; Terry L. Jones; David K. Jacobs (2018). "Mitogenomics supports an unexpected taxonomic relationship for the extinct diving duck Chendytes lawi and definitively places the extinct Labrador Duck". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 122: 102–109. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2017.12.008. PMID 29247849.
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Mergini
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