One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large ground-dwelling South American bird related to the bustards, with a long neck and legs and a crest above the bill.
Family Cariamidae: two genera and species
- ‘There are trumpeters, cariamas, and the limpkin in South America; sungrebes in South America, Africa, and southeastern Asia; and mesites on Madagascar.’
- ‘And indeed, today's two species of seriema in southern South America appear to be derived from Pleistocene fossil birds which were once giant, flightless predators (known as phorusrhacoids) of now-extinct fauna.’
- ‘Another clue comes from the predatory habits of the closest living relatives of terror birds - seriema.’
Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Tupi siriema ‘crested’.
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