Genus V.--Sula, Briss. Gannet.

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Birds of America

By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.


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GENUS V.--SULA, Briss. Gannet.

Bill longer than the head, opening beyond the eyes, straight, elongated, conical, moderately compressed; upper mandible with the dorsal line straight and declinate, at the end convex and a little decurved; the ridge very broad, convex, with a slight median carina, and separated on each side from the sides, which are perpendicular, slightly convex, and have an additional narrow-jointed piece below the eye; edges sharp, direct, irregularly serrate, with numerous slender cuts directed backwards, tip compressed, a little decurved, rather acute; lower mandible with the angle extremely long and narrow, the dorsal line straight, ascending, the sides erect, convex, the edges sharp and serrated, the tip compressed, acute. No external nostrils. Head large, neck of moderate length, and very thick; body of moderate bulk, rather elongated. Feet short, strong, placed rather far behind; tibias concealed; tarsus very short, rounded before, sharp behind, scaly, with three lines of small transversely oblong scutella, which run down the toes, the latter long and slender, all united by membranes having their margins straight; first toe rather small, directed inwards and forwards; middle toe longest, the outer almost equal. Claws of moderate size, slightly arched, that of the third toe pectinate. Plumage generally close, rather compact, on the head and neck blended. Wings very long, narrow, acute; first quill longest. Tail rather long, cuneate, of twelve or fourteen feathers. Gular sac small, with a small median portion bare; tongue extremely small, blunt; oesophagus extremely wide; proventricular glands forming a broad belt partially divided by intervals; stomach extremely small, its muscular coat thin, the inner soft; intestine of moderate length, slender; coeca very small; cloaca globular.

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