Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In cuvier's system of classification, the first family of his Passerincæ, “wherein the upper mandible is notched on each side towards the point. It is in this family that the greatest number of insectivorous birds occur, though many of them feed likewise upon berries and other soft fruits.” They are constrasted with Fissirostres, Conirostres, and Tenuirostres. The immense assemblage of birds here indicated is definable by no common character, least of all by the one assigned by Cuvier, and the term consequently fell into disuse. It is still employed, however, in a modified sense, for a superfamily group of oscine passerine, birds approximately equivalent to the turdoid. Passeres of Wallace. See Passeres, Turdiformes.
- In Sundevall's system of classification, a phalanx of the cohort Cichlomorphæ: synonymous with Laniiformes, as the name of a superfamily group embracing the shrikes and their immediate relatives.
- In Sclater's arrangement of 1880, a group of laminiplantar oscine Passeres, practically equivalent to the Cichlomorphæ of Sundevall.
“In the dentirostres, for instance, we have in a subdued form the hooked bill and predaceous character of the raptores; to this tribe belongs the family of the shrikes, so deadly to all the lesser field birds.”
“In the conirostres are the perfections which belong to the incessores as an order, with the conspicuous external feature of a comparatively small notch in their bills; in the dentirostres, the notch is strong and toothlike, (hence the name of the tribe) assimilating them to the raptores; the fissirostres come into analogy with the natatores in the slight development of their feet and their great powers of flight; the tenuirostres have the small mouths and long soft bills of the grallatores.”
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