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Demoiselle Crane

Anthropoides virgo
Demoiselle Cranes are the smallest members of the Crane family, and are also one of the most common species. They live in Central Asia in grassland and steppe habitats.

The common name for the species actually was bestowed upon the birds by Marie Antoinette.  When some of the Cranes were brought to her in France, she named them for their delicate and ladylike appearance. "Demoiselle" translates to "Damsel."

Demoiselle Cranes are migratory birds, and live in very large flocks when they travel. Once they have reached their breeding grounds, however, they pair off (they mate for life) and become territorial. The mated Cranes strengthen their bonds with one another through song, exhibiting a behavior called unison calling. They are also very enthusiastic dancers, and engage in ballets with their mates. They also dance to attract mates, to relieve tension, and to develop motor skills when young. The Cranes also communicate through a variety of calls, and their voices are low and raspy.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Central Asia
Size : Length up to 39in (1m), Wingspan up to 71in (1.8m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Gruiformes
Family : Gruidae -- Genus : Anthropoides -- Species : A. virgo


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