Goose


Goose

Taxobox
name = Goose



image_width = 240px
image_caption = Canada Goose, "Branta canadensis"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
superordo = Galloanserae
ordo = Anseriformes
familia = Anatidae
subfamilia = Anserinae
tribus = Anserini
tribus_authority =
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision ="Anser" "Branta" and see text

Goose (plural: geese) is the English name for a considerable number of birds, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes swans, most of which are larger than geese, and ducks, which are smaller.

This article deals with the true geese in the subfamily Anserinae, tribe Anserini.

A number of other waterbirds, mainly related to the shelducks, have "goose" as part of their name.

Description

True geese are medium to large birds, always (with the exception of the Nēnē) associated to a greater or lesser extent with water. Most species in Europe, Asia, and North America are strongly migratory as wild birds, breeding in the far north and wintering much farther south. However, escapes and introductions have led to resident feral populations of several species.

Geese have been domesticated for thousands of years. In the West, farmyard geese are descended from the Greylag, but in Asia the Swan Goose has been farmed for at least as long.

All geese eat a vegetarian diet, and can become pests when flocks feed on arable crops or inhabit ponds or grassy areas in urban environments. They also take invertebrates if the opportunity presents itself; domestic geese will try out most novel food items for edibility. Geese usually mate for life, though a small number will "divorce" and remate. They tend to lay a smaller number of eggs than ducks but both parents protect the nest and young, which usually results in a higher survival rate for the young geese.

Not all couples are heterosexual, as both females and males will form long-term same-sex couples with greater or lesser frequency depending on species. [Bagemihl (1999): pp.479-481. More detailed data exists for Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, and Snow Goose.] Of the homosexual couples, a significant proportion are non-breeding despite having an active sexual life.

Etymology

"Goose" in its origins is one of the oldest words of the Indo-European languages (Crystal), the modern names deriving from the proto-Indo-European root, "ghans", hence Sanskrit "hamsa" (feminine "hamsii"), Latin "anser", Greek "khén" etc.

In the Germanic languages, the root word led to Old English "gos" with the plural "gés", German "Gans" and Old Norse "gas". Other modern derivatives are Russian "gus" and Old Irish "géiss"; the family name of the cleric Jan Hus is derived from the Czech derivative "husa".

The male goose is called a gander (Anglo-Saxon "gandra") and the female is the goose ("Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)"); young birds before fledging are known as goslings. A group of geese on the ground is called a gaggle; when flying in formation, it is called a wedge or a skein (see also list of collective nouns for birds).

True geese

The following are the living genera of true geese:
* "Anser" - Grey Geese, including the domesticated goose and the Swan Goose
* "Chen" - White Geese (often included in "Anser")
* "Branta" - Black Geese, such as the Canada goose

The following two genera are only tentatively placed in the Anserinae; they may belong to the shelducks or form a subfamily on their own:
* "Cereopsis" - Cape Barren Goose
* "Cnemiornis" - New Zealand Geese (prehistoric)

Either these or - more probably - the goose-like Coscoroba Swan is the closest living relative of the true geese.

Fossils of true geese are hard to assign to genus; all that can be said is that their fossil record, particularly in North America, is dense and comprehensively documents a lot of the different species of true geese that have been around since about 10 million years ago in the Miocene. The aptly-named "Anser atavus" ("Great-great-great-grandfather goose") from some 12 million years ago had even more plesiomorphies in common with swans. In addition, there are some goose-like birds known from subfossil remains found on the Hawaiian Islands. See Anserinae for more.

Other birds called "geese"

There are a number of mainly southern hemisphere birds called "geese", most of which belong to the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae. These are:
* Orinoco Goose, "Neochen jubata"
* Egyptian Goose, "Alopochen aegyptiacus"
* The South American sheldgeese, genus "Chloephaga"
* The prehistoric Madagascar Sheldgoose, "Centrornis majori", the "Woodard"Verify source|date=January 2008Fact|date=January 2008

The Blue-winged Goose, "Cyanochen cyanopterus" belongs either to these, or to lineage closer to ducks.

The Spur-winged Goose, "Plectropterus gambensis", is most closely related to the shelducks, but distinct enough to warrant its own subfamily, the Plectropterinae.

The three species of small waterfowl in the genus "Nettapus" are named "pygmy geese", e.g. the Cotton Pygmy Goose ("N. javanica"). They seem to represent an ancient lineage like the Cape Barren Goose and the Spur-winged Goose.

A genus of prehistorically extinct seaducks, "Chendytes", is sometimes called "diving-geese" due to their large size.

The unusual Magpie-goose is in a family of its own, the Anseranatidae.

The Northern Gannet, a seabird, is also known as the "Solan Goose" although it is a bird unrelated to the true geese, or any other Anseriformes for that matter.

See also

* Angel Wing - A disease common in geese.
* Domesticated goose, which includes cooking and folklore
* List of goose breeds
* Waterfowl
* Wildfowl

References

* (1999): "Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity". St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-19239-8
* (1992): Family Anatidae (Ducks, Geese and Swans). "In:" aut|del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew & Sargatal, Jordi (eds.): "Handbook of Birds of the World" (Volume 1: Ostrich to Ducks): 536-629, plates 40-50. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-10-5
* (1998): "The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language" (Paperback) ISBN 0-521-55967-7
* (1991): "The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds". Wings Books, New York. Reprint of 1980 edition. ISBN 0-517-03288-0

External links

* [http://ibc.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/familia.phtml?idFamilia=27 Goose videos] on the Internet Bird Collection


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  • Goose — (g[=oo]s), n.; pl. {Geese} (g[=e]s). [OE. gos, AS. g[=o]s, pl. g[=e]s; akin to D. & G. gans, Icel. g[=a]s, Dan. gaas, Sw. g[*a]s, Russ. guse. OIr. geiss, L. anser, for hanser, Gr. chh n, Skr. ha[.m]sa. [root]233. Cf. {Gander}, {Gannet}, {Ganza},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • goose — a large waterfowl proverbially noted, I know not why, for foolishness [Johnson], O.E. gos, from P.Gmc. *gans goose (Cf. O.Fris. gos, O.N. gas, O.H.G. gans, Ger. Gans goose ), from PIE *ghans (Cf. Skt. hamsah, masc., hansi, fem., goose, swan; Gk …   Etymology dictionary

  • Goose — steht für Goose (Band) belgische Elektro Rock und Dance Punk Band GOOSE Generic Object Oriented Substation Events, Netzwerkprotokoll das Wasserflugzeug Grumman G 21 Siehe auch XSM 73 Goose Goose Island Blue Goose Grey Goose Goose Creek …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • goose — UK US /guːs/ noun [C] ● the goose that lays the golden egg(s) Cf. the goose that lays the golden eggs ● kill the goose that lays the golden egg(s) Cf. kill the goose that lays the golden eggs …   Financial and business terms

  • goose — [go͞os] n. pl. for 1 3, geese; for 4 & 5, gooses [ME gose < OE gos, akin to Du & Ger gans, ON gas < IE * ĝhans > L anser; GOOSE vt. 1 prob. for the fact that geese sometimes attack children from the rear] 1. any of various long necked,… …   English World dictionary

  • Goose — (spr. Guhs), 1) Insel an der Südküste von Australien; 2) östliches Cap der Nordwestküste Neufoundlands; 3) (Goose Creek, spr. G. Krieck), Fluß im Staate Virginia (Nordamerika), entspringt[472] in der Grafschaft Fauquier u. fällt in den Potomac… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Goose — est un groupe de rock electro belge originaire de Courtrai. Il fut formé en 2000 par Mickael Karkousse, Dave Martijn, Tom Coghe et Bert Libeert. Leur single Audience fut diffusé à travers toute l Europe par Coca Cola dans une de leurs campagnes… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • goose — ► NOUN (pl. geese) 1) a large waterbird with a long neck, short legs, webbed feet, and a short, broad bill. 2) the female of such a bird. 3) informal a foolish person. ► VERB informal ▪ poke (someone) in the bottom. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • goose — gooselike, adj. /goohs/, n., pl. geese for 1, 2, 4, 8, 9; gooses for 5 7; v., goosed, goosing. n. 1. any of numerous wild or domesticated, web footed swimming birds of the family Anatidae, esp. of the genera Anser and Branta, most of which are… …   Universalium

  • goose — I UK [ɡuːs] / US [ɡus] noun Word forms goose : singular goose plural geese UK [ɡiːs] / US [ɡɪs] 1) a) [countable/uncountable] a large white or grey bird with a long beak called a bill. A male goose is called a gander and a young goose is called a …   English dictionary