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Uploaded on on Jul 15, 2021


A goose (plural geese) is a waterfowl species belonging to the Anatidae family. The genera Anser (grey geese and white geese) and Branta make up this group (the black geese). Other birds, primarily related to shelducks, have names that include the word “goose.” Swans, which are bigger than genuine geese, and ducks, which are smaller, are more distantly related members of the Anatidae family.

The word “goose” can refer to either a male or female bird, but when combined with the word “gander,” it refers to a female bird (the latter referring to a male). Goslings are young birds that have not yet fledged. A gaggle of geese on the ground is referred to as a gaggle; in flight, they are referred to as a skein, a team, or a wedge; and when flying close together, they are referred to as a plump.

The word “goose” is derived from ghans-, a Proto-Indo-European root. The root gave Old English gs and gandres (which became Modern English goose, geese, gander, and gosling, respectively), Frisian goes, gies, and guoske, New High German Gans, Gänse, and Ganter, and Old Norse gs in Germanic languages.

True geese are divided into two genera: Anser, which includes grey and white geese like the greylag goose and snow goose, and Branta, which includes black geese like the Canada goose.


Cereopsis, the Cape Barren goose, and Cnemiornis, the prehistoric New Zealand goose, are two genera of geese that are only tentatively placed in the Anserinae; they may belong to the shelducks or form their own subfamily: Cereopsis, the Cape Barren goose, and Cnemiornis, the prehistoric New Zealand goose. The closest surviving cousin of real geese is either one of these or, more likely, the goose-like coscoroba swan.

Genuine geese fossils are difficult to classify; all that can be stated is that their fossil record, particularly in North America, is extensive and thorough, documenting many different species of true geese that have existed since the Miocene epoch, around 10 million years ago. Anser atavus (literally “progenitor goose”), which lived around 12 million years ago, had even more plesiomorphies with swans. In addition, subfossil bones discovered in the Hawaiian Islands have led to the identification of some goose-like birds.

Geese are monogamous throughout the year, living in permanent couples; yet, unlike other continuously monogamous species, they are territorial only during the brief breeding season. Paired geese are more dominant and feed more, both of which contribute to the production of more young.

In flight, geese honk to encourage other flock members to maintain a ‘v-formation’ and communicate with one another.

Fossils of geese dating from 10 to 12 million years ago have been discovered. Fossils discovered in the Gagarno area of central Italy reveal the presence of a one-and-a-half-metre-tall prehistoric goose cousin. Unlike contemporary geese, the bird appears to have been flightless.

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