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Greater Roadrunner

(Geococcyx californianus)

The Greater Roadrunner is a long-legged bird in the cuckoo family, Cuculidae, from Southwestern United States and Mexico. The Latin name means "Californian earth-cuckoo". Along with the lesser roadrunner, it is one of two species in the roadrunner genus Geococcyx. This roadrunner is also known as the chaparral cock, ground cuckoo, and snake killer. Although capable of limited flight, it spends most of its time on the ground, and can run at speeds up to 32 km/h (20 mph). This bird walks around rapidly, running down prey. It feeds mainly on small animals including insects, spiders (including black widows), tarantulas, scorpions, mice, small birds, and especially lizards and small snakes. Venomous serpents, including small rattlesnakes, are readily consumed. It kills prey by holding the victim in its bill and slamming it repeatedly against the ground.

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