Chordates •

Oriental darter

(Anhinga melanogaster)



The Oriental darter is like all other anhingas,a cormorant-like species that has a very long neck.The structure of the neck is as in other species of darter with strongly developed muscles about a kink in the neck at the 8th and 9th vertebrae that allows it to be flexed and darted forward with rapid force to stab fish underwater.The edges of the commissures of the mandible tips have minute inward pointing serrations that hold impaled fish.The adult plumage above is black and the wing coverts and tertials having silvery streaks along the shaft.The crown and neck are brown shading to black towards the back of the neck.The underparts are blackish brown.A pale line over the eye and throat and a line running along the sides of the neck gives it a striped appearance.The iris is white with a yellow ring (brighter yellow in breeding birds) around it.The tip of the upper mandible is dark while the base is pale brown bill while the lower mandible is yellowish.The legs and webbing on the foot are yellow in immatures and non-breeding birds while breeding birds have darker grey tarsi and toes with yellow webbing.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Aves
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