Family XLV. COLYMBINAE. DIVERS AND GREBES.
Bill of the length of the head, straight, rather stout, much compressed, pointed; upper mandible with the dorsal line declinate, almost straight, or towards the end convex; nasal groove rather long, feathered at the base. Nostrils basal, linear, direct, pervious. Feet stout, short, placed extremely far behind; tarsus extremely compressed; toes four, the first very small, and lobed; the anterior united by webs, which in some are lobed. Plumage dense, short, glossy, generally silky beneath. Wings small, very narrow, acute. Tail very short, sometimes extremely small, and forming a slight tuft. Tongue slender, trigonal, tapering; oesophagus very wide in its whole length, or narrowed in the anterior part with the proventriculus wide; stomach generally large, muscular, with a dense rugous epithelium; intestine rather long and wide; as are the coeca; cloaca globular.