/kyoor"euh soh', kyoo ras"oh/, n.
any of several large, arboreal, gallinaceous birds of the family Cracidae, of South and Central America.
[1675-85; after CURAÇAO]

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Any of numerous tropical American bird species (family Cracidae); strictly defined, one of 7–12 species in which the male is glossy black and has a curled crest of feathers and a brightly coloured bill ornament.

The smaller female is brownish and unornamented. Curassows have delicious flesh and are hunted as game. Large species (measuring up to nearly 40 in. [100 cm] long) include the great curassow (Crax rubra), found from Mexico to Ecuador; the helmeted curassow (Pauxi pauxi), of the Venezuelan and Colombian mountains; and the critically endangered razor-billed curassow (C. mitu), of the Amazon.

Southern helmeted curassow (Crax unicornis)

Albert E. Gilbert

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 any of numerous tropical American birds of the family Cracidae (order Galliformes). Strictly, it refers to 7–12 species in which the male is glossy black (often with white belly) and has a curled crest of feathers and a brightly coloured bill ornament; the female, lacking the ornament, is smaller and brownish. Curassows are game birds with delicious flesh. Large examples (to nearly 100 cm [40 inches]) are the great curassow (Crax rubra), from Mexico to Ecuador; the helmeted curassow (Pauxi pauxi), of the mountains of Venezuela and Colombia; and the razor-billed curassow (C. mitu), of the Amazon, which is critically endangered.

      The chachalacas (chachalaca) comprise 11 species and are the smallest and least arboreal members of the family. Typical is the plain chachalaca (Ortalis vetula), a 50-centimetre species, ranging from the Texas border to Nicaragua. Weighing about 0.5 kg (1 pound), it is brownish with a long green-glossed, white-tipped tail. At dawn and sundown, flocks call together from the treetops with regular, almost metronomic beat.

      Guans (guan) comprise 12 species, lighter in weight and somewhat smaller than related curassows. Strongly gregarious, they have noisy cries heard mainly at night. Sexes look alike. The crested (miscalled purple) guan (Penelope purpurascens), from Mexico to Ecuador and Venezuela, is an important game bird, about 65 cm long and weighing about 2 kg. It is greenish brown, with white spotting below. Several species are endangered.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • curassow — [kyo͞o′rə sō΄, kyo͞o ras′ō΄] n. [< CURAÇAO] any of several dark, crested, gallinaceous game birds (family Cracidae, esp. genera Crax and Mitu) of South and Central America, which usually nest in trees …   English World dictionary

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  • curassow — tikrieji kraksai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Crax angl. curassow vok. Hokko, m rus. гокко, m pranc. hocco, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – kraksai siauresnis terminas – didysis kraksas siauresnis terminas – Dobantono… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • curassow — noun Etymology: alteration of Curaçao Date: 1685 any of several large arboreal gallinaceous game birds (family Cracidae, especially genus Crax) of South and Central America …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • curassow — noun Any of several species of bird in the Cracidae family, limited to the Americas …   Wiktionary

  • curassow — n. large game bird with tuft of feathers related to the pheasants and domestic fowl …   English contemporary dictionary

  • curassow — [ kjʊərəsəʊ] noun a large crested pheasant like bird of the guan family, found in tropical American forests. [Genus Crax: several species.] Origin C17: anglicized form of Curaçao (see curaçao) …   English new terms dictionary

  • curassow — cu·ras·sow …   English syllables

  • curassow — cu•ras•sow [[t]ˈkyʊər əˌsoʊ, kyʊˈræs oʊ[/t]] n. orn any of several large gallinaceous birds of the guan family, esp. of the genus Crax, typically crested, with bony casques above the bill • Etymology: 1675–85; after Curaçao …   From formal English to slang

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