Phalacrocorax is a genus of fish-eating birds in the cormorant family Phalacrocoracidae. Members of this genus are also known as the Old World cormorants.

Genus of birds

Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Phalacrocorax
Brisson, 1760
Type species
Pelecanus carbo


12, see text

  • Stictocarbo
  • Nanocorax (in part)
  • Anocarbo

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The genusPhalacrocorax was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) as the type species.[1][2]Phalacrocorax is the Latin word for a “cormorant”.[3]

Formerly, many other species of cormorant were classified in Phalacrocorax, but most of these have been split out into different genera. A 2014 study found Phalacrocrax to be the sister genus to Urile, which are thought to have split from each other between 8.9 – 10.3 million years ago.[4]

A molecular phylogenetic study published in 2014 found that the genus Phalacrocorax contains 12 species.[4] This taxonomy was adopted by the IUCN Red List and BirdLife International, and later by the IOC.[5]

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