Pygmy Geese
Green Pygmy Goose
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anatinae
Genus: Nettapus
Brandt, 1836

The pygmy geese are a group of very small "perching ducks" in the genus Nettapus which breed in the Old World tropics. They are the smallest of all wildfowl. As the "perching ducks" are a paraphyletic group,[1] they need to be placed elsewhere. The initially assumed relationship with the dabbling duck subfamily Anatinae[citation needed] has been questioned, and it appears they form a lineage in an ancient Gondwanan radiation of waterfowl, within which they are of unclear affinities.[2] An undescribed fossil species from the late Hemphillian (5.0-4.1 mya) of Jalisco, central Mexico, has also been identified from the distal end of a tarsometatarsus. It is only record of the genus in the New World.[3]

There are three extant species in the genus:

Their habitat is still freshwater lakes, where these neat ducks feed on seeds and other vegetation, especially water lilies.

Pygmy geese have short bills, rounded heads and short legs. They nest in tree holes.


  1. ^ Livezey, Bradley C. (1986). "A phylogenetic analysis of recent anseriform genera using morphological characters." (Full text). Auk. 103 (4): 737–754. 
  2. ^ Sraml, M.; Christidis, L.; Easteal, S.; Horn, P. & Collet, C. (1996). "Molecular Relationships Within Australasian Waterfowl (Anseriformes)". Australian Journal of Zoology. 44 (1): 47–58. doi:10.1071/ZO9960047.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  3. ^ Steadman, D.; Carranza-Castaneda, O. (2006). "Early Pliocene to early Pleistocene birds from central Mexico". Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geología and Centro de Geociencias, Publicacion Especial. 4: 61–71. ISBN 970-32-3895-5.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  • Madge, Steve; Burn, Hilary (1987). Wildfowl : an identification guide to the ducks, geese and swans of the world. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 190–193. ISBN 0-7470-2201-1.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)

External links

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