One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small tropical wading bird with greatly elongated toes and claws that enable it to walk on floating vegetation.
FamilyJacanidae: several genera and speciesAlso called lily-trotter
- ‘Large wading and diving birds seemed to be everywhere: great white egrets, great blue herons, green herons, tricolored herons, roseate spoonbills, anhingas, cormorants, and jacanas.’
- ‘Last weekend about 25 people walked around Lismore Lake to celebrate Council's decision to leave the lake as a bird habitat, and it was a great pleasure to see four black swans again joining the jacanas and other bird life on the lake.’
- ‘For decades, taxonomists couldn't agree whether to classify jacanas with rails or shorebirds; genetic studies now appear to confirm the latter.’
- ‘The river was ~ 0.9 km wide at that location, and it supported mats of floating aquatic vegetation on which hundreds of jacanas resided.’
- ‘When we came around the other side of the pond, someone spotted a jacana walking across the lily pads.’
Mid 18th century: from Portuguese jaçanã, from Tupi-Guarani jasanã.
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