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Crested Caracaras Fighting, Llanos, Venezuela

Crested Caracaras Fighting, Llanos, Venezuela (Animals)

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Tags: bird (57 pics)

Caracara is a genus of birds of prey in the family Falconidae found throughout a large part of the Americas. They are part of a group collectively referred to as caracaras. The modern species in the genus Caracara were previously considered conspecific (as "Crested Caracara" - a name still widely used for the Northern Caracara) and/or for long placed in the genus Polyborus.

Taxonomy

Two of the modern species are extant, one was deliberately made extinct by humans about 100 years ago (to the detriment of its island home). Several prehistoric taxa are also known.

Northern (Crested) Caracara, Caracara cheriway
Southern Caracara, Caracara plancus
Guadalupe Caracara, Caracara lutosa - extinct (1900 or 1903 (116 years ago))
Bahaman Caracara, Caracara creightoni - prehistoric, may belong in C. latebrosus
Puerto Rican Caracara, Caracara latebrosus - prehistoric
Terrestrial Caracara, Caracara tellustris - prehistoric

The fossil record proves the long history of the mainland "crested caracaras". Remains of Northern Caracaras, slightly larger[verification needed] than those of our time and otherwise all but identical, were found in the famous La Brea Tar Pits. In addition, the Guadalupe Caracara may derive from an already-distinct population of western Mexico that subsequently was displaced by the main continental population.


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