; class Aves, order Galliformes)
A family of black, black and white, or brown, long-tailed, pheasant-like birds that have short, rounded wings and strong legs with large feet. Their bills are variable, often having an ornate knob or wattle, and many have crests and bare throat skin which is coloured and pendulous (e.g. the 15 species of guans (Penelope) found in rain forest; P. albipennis (white-winged guan) has white primaries). Chachalacas (nine Ortalis species) have a bare, red throat patch; curassows (12 species of Crax) have ornate, coloured bills or crests of decurved feathers. Cracids are mainly arboreal, feeding on fruit and leaves, and nesting in trees. There are eight genera in the family, with 41 species, found in the southern USA, and in Central and S. America. Many species are endangered.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.