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Seagull


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Seagull (Animals)
Seagull (Animals)
Seagull (Animals)
Seagull (Animals)
Seagull (Animals)
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Information about Seagull

Gulls (often informally seagulls) are birds in the family Laridae. They are most closely related to the terns (family Sternidae) and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders. Until recently, most gulls were placed in the genus Larus, but this arrangement is now known to be polyphyletic, leading to the resurrection of several genera.

They are typically medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They typically have harsh wailing or squawking calls. They have stout, longish bills, and webbed feet. Gull species range in size from the Little Gull, at 120 g (4.2 oz) and 29 cm (11.5 inches), to the Great Black-backed Gull, at 1.75 kg (3.8 lbs) and 76 cm (30 inches).

Description

Most gulls, particularly Larus species, are ground nesting carnivores, which will take live food or scavenge opportunistically. The live food often includes crabs and small fish. Apart from the kittiwakes, gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely venturing far out to sea and into surrounding deciduous forests. The large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage, but two years is typical for small gulls. Large White-Headed Gulls are typically long-lived birds, with a maximum age of 49 years recorded for the Herring Gull.

Gulls nest in large, densely packed, and noisy colonies. They lay two to three speckled eggs in nests composed of vegetation. The young are precocial, being born with dark mottled down, and mobile from birth.

Gulls—the larger species in particular—are resourceful, inquisitive and highly intelligent birds, demonstrating complex methods of communication and a highly developed social structure; for example, many gull colonies display mobbing behaviour, attacking and harassing would-be predators and other intruders. In addition, certain species (e.g. the Herring Gull) have exhibited tool use behaviour. Many species of gull have learned to coexist successfully with humans and have thrived in human habitats. Others rely on kleptoparasitism to get their food. Gulls have been observed preying on live whales, landing on the whale as it surfaces to peck meat, and attempting to make away with domestic pets, such as cats..

Evolution

The Laridae are known from fossil evidence since the Early Oligocene, some 30-33 mya. A fossil gull from the Middle to Late Miocene of Cherry County, USA is placed in the prehistoric genus Gaviota; apart from this and the undescribed Early Oligocene fossil, all prehistoric species were tentatively assigned to the modern genus Larus. Among those of them that have been confirmed as gulls, "Larus" elegans and "L." totanoides from the Late Oligocene/Early Miocene of southeast France have since been separated in Laricola.

Subspecies

Pacific Gull, Larus pacificus
Belcher's Gull, Larus belcheri
Olrog's Gull, Larus atlanticus
Black-tailed Gull, Larus crassirostris
Heermann's Gull, Larus heermanni
Common Gull or Mew Gull, Larus canus
Ring-billed Gull, Larus delawarensis
California Gull, Larus californicus
Great Black-backed Gull, Larus marinus
Kelp Gull, Larus dominicanus (called "Southern Black-backed Gull" or "Karoro" in New Zealand)
Cape Gull, Larus dominicanus vetula
Glaucous-winged Gull, Larus glaucescens
Western Gull, Larus occidentalis
Yellow-footed Gull, Larus livens
Glaucous Gull, Larus hyperboreus
Iceland Gull, Larus glaucoides
Kumlien's Gull, Larus glaucoides kumlieni
Thayer's Gull, Larus thayeri
Herring Gull, Larus argentatus
Heuglin's Gull, Larus heuglini
American Herring Gull, Larus smithsonianus
Yellow-legged Gull, Larus michahellis
Caspian Gull, Larus cachinnans
East Siberian Herring Gull, Larus vegae
Armenian Gull, Larus armenicus
Slaty-backed Gull, Larus schistisagus
Lesser Black-backed Gull, Larus fuscus
White-eyed Gull, Ichthyaetus leucophthalmus
Sooty Gull, Ichthyaetus hemprichii
Great Black-headed Gull, Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus
Audouin's Gull, Ichthyaetus audouinii
Mediterranean Gull, Ichthyaetus melanocephalus
Relict Gull, Ichthyaetus relictus
Dolphin (11 walls) Gull, Leucophaeus scoresbii
Laughing Gull, Leucophaeus atricilla
Franklin's Gull, Leucophaeus pipixcan
Lava Gull, Leucophaeus fuliginosus
Gray Gull, Leucophaeus modestus
Silver Gull, Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae
Red-billed Gull, Chroicocephalus scopulinus
Hartlaub's Gull, Chroicocephalus hartlaubii
Brown-hooded Gull, Chroicocephalus maculipennis
Gray-hooded Gull, Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus
Andean Gull, Chroicocephalus serranus
Black-billed Gull, Chroicocephalus bulleri
Brown-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus
Black-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Slender-billed Gull, Chroicocephalus genei
Bonaparte's Gull, Chroicocephalus philadelphia
Saunders's Gull, Saundersilarus saundersi
Little Gull, Hydrocoloeus minutus
Ross's Gull, Rhodostethia rosea
Black-legged Kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla
Red-legged Kittiwake, Rissa brevirostris
Genus Pagophila
Ivory Gull, Pagophila eburnea
Sabine's Gull, Xema sabini
Swallow-tailed Gull, Creagrus furcatus


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