; class Aves, order Charadriiformes)
A family of large water birds which have black or brown upper-parts and white under-parts. The bill is long, with the lower mandible longer than the upper. Skimmers have long, pointed wings, short, forked tails, and very short legs with small, webbed feet. They inhabit coasts and rivers, and feed on small fish and crustaceans caught by skimming over the water with the lower mandible ploughing the surface. They nest on the ground. There is one genus, Rynchops, with three species, found in Africa, southern Asia, and N., Central, and S. America.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.