|† See also Booby|
The gannets are part of the family Sulidae. This is a group of seabirds, which also includes the boobies
The three gannet species are in the genus Morus, whilst the six boobies are in Sula, but it is arguable whether all nine species should be considered congeneric.
The gannets are large black and white birds with long pointed wings and long bills. They hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. They have facial air sacs under their skin which cushion the impact with the water.
These are colonial breeders on islands and coasts, which normally lay one chalky blue egg.
It takes five years for gannets to reach maturity. First-year birds are completely black, and subsequent sub-adult plumages show increasing amounts of white.
This group is related to other Pelecaniformes as below:
- Pelecanidae pelicans
- Sulidae gannets and boobies
- Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
- Cape Gannet Morus capensis
- Australian Gannet Morus serrator
- Blue-footed Booby Sula nebouxii
- Peruvian Booby Sula variegata
- Abbott's Booby Sula abbotti
- Masked Booby Sula dactylatra
- Red-footed Booby Sula sula
- Brown Booby Sula leucogaster
- Phalacrocoracidae cormorants
- Fregatidae frigatebirds
- Anhingidae Anhinga and darters
- Phaethontidae tropicbirds