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Crested Crane, Balearica regulorum gibbericeps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Infraclass: Neognathae
Order: Gruiformes
Bonaparte, 1854

Some 5-10 living, see article text.

Global Distribution of the Cranes and allies.

The Gruiformes are an order with many living and extinct bird families, and a widespread geographical diversity. Gruiform means "crane-like".

The Gruiformes evolved early, long before the passerine songbirds which are the most common birds today. The Gruiform radiation in the Palaeocene and Eocene produced a large variety of medium to large-sized birds. Many of them still prefer the watery habitats which were so common early in the Cainozoic era.

Cranes and rails are the core of the Gruiformes. Also often added are a large number of difficult-to-place birds like the huge Diatryma and Phorusrhacos.