Phoenicopteridae is a wading bird family including flamingos and their close extinct relatives.

Temporal range: Oligocene-Holocene, 25–0 Ma
Flamingos Laguna Colorada.jpg
James's flamingos (Phoenicopterus jamesi)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Phoenicopteriformes
Fürbringer, 1888
Family: Phoenicopteridae
Bonaparte, 1831
Type species
Phoenicopterus ruber

Flamingos and their relatives are well attested in the fossil record, with the first unequivocal member of the Phoenicopteridae, Elornis known from the late Eocene epoch. A considerable number of little-known birds from the Late Cretaceous onwards are sometimes considered to be flamingo ancestors. These include the genera Torotix, Scaniornis, Gallornis, Agnopterus, Tiliornis, Juncitarsus, and Kashinia; these show a mix of characters and are fairly plesiomorphic in comparison to modern birds. (The supposed "Cretaceous flamingo" Parascaniornis is actually a synonym of Baptornis and not a close relative to any living bird.) An extinct family of peculiar "swimming flamingos", the Palaelodidae, are believed to be related to, or to be the ancestors of, the modern flamingos. This is sometimes rejected, since the fossil Elornis is known to be from some time before any palaelodid flamingos have been recorded.


Living Phoenicopteridae based on the work by John Boyd.[2]


Phoenicopterus chilensis (Chilean Flamingo)

Phoenicopterus roseus(Greater/Red Flamingo)

Phoenicopterus ruber (American/Caribbean Flamingo)

Phoeniconaias minor (Lesser Flamingo)


Phoenicoparrus andinus(greater Andean Flamingo)

Phoenicoparrus jamesi(James's/Puna/lesser Andean Flamingo)


Compiled from the following websites: Extinct species assignment follows the Mikko's Phylogeny Archive[3] and websites.[4] and subspecies names from English Names of Birds.[5]

  • Family Phoenicopteridae Bonaparte 1831 (flamingos)
    • Genus †Harrisonavis Kashin 1978 [Gervaisia Harrison & Walker 1976 non Bonaparte 1854 non Waga 1858 non Robineau-Desvoidy 1863]
      • Harrisonavis croizeti (Gervais 1852) Kashin 1978 [Phoenicopterus croizeti Gervais 1852; Gervaisia croizeti (Gervais 1852) Harrison & Walker 1976] (Middle Oligocene – Middle Miocene of C Europe)
    • Genus †Leakeyornis Vickers-Rich & Walker 1983
      • Leakeyornis aethiopicus (Harrison & Walker 1976) Vickers-Rich & Walker 1983 [Phoenicopterus aethiopicus Harrison & Walker 1976]
    • Genus †Elornis Milne-Edwards 1868 [Elornis Aymard 1856 nomen nudum; Helornis Lydekker 1891; Actiornis Lydekker 1891] (Middle? Eocene – Early Oligocene)
      • E. anglicus Aymard 1856 nomen nudum [Helornis anglicus Lydekker 1891; Actiornis anglicus Lydekker 1891]
      • E. grandis Milne-Edwards 1868 [Elornis grandis Aymard 1856 nomen nudum]
      • E. littoralis Milne-Edwards 1868 [Elornis littoralis Aymard 1856 nomen nudum; Elornis antiquus Aymard 1856 nomen nudum; Elornis antiquus Milne-Edwards 1868; Helornis littoralis (Milne-Edwards 1868) Lydekker 1891]
    • Phoenicopteridae gen. et sp. indet. (Middle? – Late Miocene)
    • Genus Phoenicopterus (middle Oligocene – Recent)
      • P. floridanus Brodkorb 1953 (Early Pliocene of Florida)
      • P. stocki (Miller 1944) (Middle Pliocene of Rincón, Mexico)
      • P. siamensis Cheneval et al. 1991
      • P. gracilis Miller 1963 (Early Pleistocene of Lake Kanunka, Australia)
      • P. chilensis Molina, 1782 [Phoenicopterus ignipalliatus ] (Chilean flamingo)
      • P. roseus Pallas, 1811 [Phoenicopterus antiquorum; Phoenicopterus major; Phoenicopterus europaeus; Phoenicopterus plinii; Phoenicopterus erythraeus; Phoenicopterus platyrhynchus; Phoenicopterus pygmaeus; Phoenicopterus andersoni] (Greater flamingo)
      • P. ruber Linnaeus, 1758 [Phoenicopterus americanus; Phoenicopterus guyanensis; Phoenicopterus bahamensis; Phoenicopterus glyphorhynchus] (American flamingo)
    • Genus Phoeniconaias Gray, 1869
    • Genus Phoenicoparrus Bonaparte, 1856


  1. ^ [1]|Torres, Chris R; Lisa M Ogawa; Mark AF Gillingham; Brittney Ferrari; and Marcel van Tuinen (2014). A multi-locus inference of the evolutionary diversification of extant flamingos (Phoenicopteridae). BMC Evolutionary Biology 14:36.
  2. ^ Boyd, John (2007). "Mirandornithes & Ardeae I". John Boyd's website. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  3. ^ Haaramo, Mikko (2007). "Phoenicopteriformes – flamingoes". Mikko's Phylogeny Archive. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Taxonomic lists- Aves". (net, info). Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  5. ^ Çınar, Ümüt (November 2015). "04 → Cᴏʟᴜᴍʙᴇᴀ : Pʜᴏᴇɴɪᴄᴏᴘᴛᴇʀɪfᴏʀᴍᴇs, Pᴏᴅɪᴄɪᴘᴇᴅɪfᴏʀᴍᴇs, Mᴇsɪᴛᴏʀɴɪᴛʜɪfᴏʀᴍᴇs, Pᴛᴇʀᴏᴄʟɪᴅɪfᴏʀᴍᴇs, Cᴏʟᴜᴍʙɪfᴏʀᴍᴇs". English Names of Birds. Retrieved 30 December 2015.