Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS I.--COLYMBUS, Linn. DIVER.
Bill as long, as the head, straight, rather stout, much compressed,
tapering, pointed; upper mandible with the dorsal line descending, and slightly
convex towards the end, the ridge convex, narrowed towards the point, the sides
nearly erect, convex, the edges sharp and considerably inflected; the tip
narrow; nasal groove rather long, feathered at the base. Nostrils basal,
linear, direct, pervious; lower mandible with the angle extremely narrow and
extending beyond the middle, the dorsal line straight and sloping towards the
point, the ridge convex and narrow, the edges sharp and involute, the tip
attenuated. Head of moderate size or rather large, oblong, narrowed before;
neck rather long and thick; body elongated, much depressed. Feet short, rather
large, placed very far back; tibia almost entirely concealed; tarsus short,
exceedingly compressed, sharp-edged before and behind, covered all over with
reticulated scales; toes four, hind toe extremely small, connected with the
second by a very small membrane; anterior toes united by entire membranes, the
outer longest, the third a little shorter, all scutellate. Claws very small,
depressed, blunt. Plumage short and dense, the feathers in general oblong.
Wings very small and narrow, curved, first quill longest, secondaries broad and
rounded. Tail extremely short, rounded, of more than twelve feathers. Tongue
long, trigonal, tapering; oesophagus very wide; proventriculus extremely
dilated; stomach rather large, roundish, a little compressed, moderately
muscular, with a rather thick, dense, longitudinally rugous epithelium;
intestine rather long and wide; coeca rather long and wide; cloaca globular.