/gal"euh noohl', -nyoohl'/, n.
any aquatic bird of the family Rallidae, having elongated, webless toes.
[1770-80; < NL Gallinula a genus name, LL gallinula chicken, equiv. to L gallin(a) hen + -ula -ULE]

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Any of several species of marsh birds (family Rallidae) found in temperate, tropical, and subtropical regions worldwide.

Gallinules are about 12–18 in. (30–45 cm) long, with a compressed body like those of the related rails and coots. They have a fleshy plate on the forehead and long, thin toes that enable them to run on floating vegetation. Many species have brightly coloured areas of plumage or skin. They are noisy, inquisitive, and less secretive than most rails. Many are migratory. They build a bulky nest of rushes on or near the water. See also moorhen.

Purple gallinule (Porphyrula martinica)

Ruth Cordner from Root Resources
EB Inc.

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 any of several species of marsh birds belonging to the rail family, Rallidae, in the order Gruiformes. Gallinules occur in temperate, tropical, and subtropical regions worldwide and are about the size of bantam hens but with a compressed body like the related rails and coots. They are about 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 inches) long, with long, thin toes that enable them to run over floating vegetation and with a prominent frontal shield (a fleshy plate on the forehead). Many species have brightly coloured areas of plumage or skin.

      Gallinules are noisy and inquisitive birds, less furtive in their actions than most rails. Many are migratory. They build bulky nests of rushes on or near the water.

      The common gallinule (moorhen) (Gallinula chloropus), blackish with a scarlet frontal shield, is called the moorhen or water hen where it occurs in Europe and Africa. Its North American race (G. chloropus cachinnans) is sometimes known as the Florida gallinule.

      The purple gallinule of America (Porphyrula martinica), sometimes called water hen or sultana, is about 30 cm long and is bright olive green and purplish blue with a light blue shield, red and yellow bill, and yellow legs and feet. It is found from South Carolina and Texas to northern Argentina. A related species is the lesser purple gallinule (P. alleni), of Africa.

      The purple gallinule (Porphyrio porphyrio), sometimes called purple swamphen, is about 45 cm long. It occurs around the Mediterranean region and is widely distributed in Africa, southern Asia, and Australia.

      Of the many peculiar flightless island forms throughout the world, some, such as the takahe (q.v.), are nearly extinct and others have become extinct recently.

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Universalium. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gallinule — Gal li*nule, n. [L. gallinula chicken, dim. of gallina hen: cf. F. gallinule.] (Zo[ o]l.) One of several wading birds, having long, webless toes, and a frontal shield, belonging to the family {Rallidae}. They are remarkable for running rapidly… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gallinule — [gal′i no͞ol΄, gal′inyo͞ol΄] n. [ModL < L gallinula, pullet, dim. of gallina: see GALLINACEOUS] any of various gruiform marsh birds (family Rallidae) that both swim and wade; esp., the moorhen …   English World dictionary

  • Gallinule — Nom vernaculaire ou nom normalisé ambigu : Le terme «  Gallinule  » s applique en français à plusieurs taxons distincts. Gallinule …   Wikipédia en Français

  • gallinule — 1. poule [ pul ] n. f. • v. 1340; h. XIIIe; lat. pulla, fém. de pullus « petit d un animal »; cf. a. fr. poul n. m. « coq » I ♦ 1 ♦ Femelle du coq, oiseau de basse cour (gallinacés), à ailes courtes et arrondies, à queue courte, à petite crête… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • gallinule — [ galɪnju:l] noun 1》 a marshbird of the rail family, with mainly black or dark plumage and a red bill. [Porphyrula martinica (purple gallinule, N. America) and other species.] 2》 (common gallinule) North American term for moorhen. Origin C18:… …   English new terms dictionary

  • gallinule — pelkinės vištelės statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Gallinula angl. moorhen vok. Teichhuhn, n rus. болотная курица, f; камышница, f pranc. gallinule, f ryšiai: platesnis terminas – vandeninės vištos siauresnis terminas –… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • gallinule — noun Etymology: New Latin Gallinula, genus of birds, from Latin, pullet, diminutive of gallina Date: 1776 any of several aquatic birds of the rail family with long thin feet and a platelike frontal area on the head: as a. moorhen b. one… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gallinule — noun /ˈɡælɪnjuːl/lang=en Several species of birds in the genera Porphyrio and Gallinula of the family Rallidae. Syn: swamphen …   Wiktionary

  • gallinule — n. type of water bird …   English contemporary dictionary

  • gallinule — n. Water hen, moor hen, spotted crake (Crex porzana) …   New dictionary of synonyms

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