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Amber motmots
File:Electron platyrhynchum -Panama-8a.png
Broad-billed Motmot
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Clade: Afroaves
Order: Coraciiformes
Suborder: Halcyoni
Family: Momotidae
Genus: Electron

Electron is a genus of the motmots, a family of Neotropical near passerine birds. The genus has two species:

Both inhabit humid evergreen tropical forest. Both occur in Central America, and the Broad-billed Motmot occurs in a large region of South America as well.

They are distinguished from other motmots by their much wider bills. The rackets on their tails are less dramatic than those of many other motmot species and may be absent. The species are very similar except in adult plumage (but the adult Keel-billed resembles the juvenile Broad-billed). A mixed pair apparently courting has been observed (Howell and Webb 1995).

The name Electron is a Latinization of the Ancient Greek word for amber, and can mean "bright" in scientific names (Jaeger 1978); the amber-colored eyes of the Keel-billed Motmot (Howell and Webb 1995) may be the connection.[citation needed] The name was given 46 years before an elementary particle was named electron.


Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
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