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(species Aramus guarauna), large swamp bird of the American tropics, sole member of the family Aramidae (order Gruiformes). The bird is about 70 cm (28 inches) long and is coloured brown with white spots. The limpkin's most distinctive characteristics are its loud, prolonged, wailing cry and its peculiar halting gait. The species ranges the lowlands from the southeastern United States, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola south to central Argentina