; class Aves, order Passeriformes)
A family of small to medium-sized birds which have mainly dark brown or black plumage (the 12 species of Scytalopus have some barring on the underside, especially in immatures, and some have white under-parts or supercilia). Tapaculos have short, sharp bills, short, rounded wings, and short to long tails that are frequently cocked. They have long legs with large feet, and are mainly terrestrial, walking or running. They inhabit forest undergrowth and grassland, feed on insects and seeds, and nest in holes in banks or trees, or in bushes. There are 12 genera, with about 30 species, found in Central and S. America.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.