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Goldeneyes
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Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Merginae
Genus: Bucephala
Boie, 1822
Species

Bucephala albeola
Bucephala clangula
Bucephala islandica

Synonyms

Charitonetta
and see text

Goldeneye are small tree-hole nesting northern hemisphere seaducks belonging to the genus Bucephala. Their plumage is black and white, and they eat fish, crustaceans and other marine life.

The Bufflehead was formerly separated in its own genus Charitonetta, while the goldeneyes proper were mistakenly placed in Clangula, the genus of the Long-tailed Duck which at that time was placed in Harelda.

The three living species are

Known fossil taxa are:

  • Bucephala cereti (Sajóvölgyi Middle Miocene of Mátraszõlõs, Hungary - Late Pliocene of Chilhac, France)
  • Bucephala ossivalis (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Bone Valley, USA), which was very similar to the Common Goldeneye and may even have been a paleosubspecies or direct ancestor
  • Bucephala fossilis (Late Pliocene of California, USA)
  • Bucephala angustipes (Early Pleistocene of C Europe)
  • Bucephala sp. (Early Pleistocene of Dursunlu, Turkey: Louchart et al. 1998)

References

  • Louchart, Antoine; Mourer-Chauviré, Cécile; Guleç, Erksin; Howell, Francis Clark & White, Tim D. (1998): L'avifaune de Dursunlu, Turquie, Pléistocène inférieur: climat, environnement et biogéographie. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris IIA 327(5): 341-346. [French with English abridged version] doi:10.1016/S1251-8050(98)80053-0 (HTML abstract)

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