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any of the larger members of the duck tribe Tadornini, family Anatidae (order Anseriformes). The smaller members of the tribe are called shelducks. Sheldgeese inhabit tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. They are small-billed and rather long-legged, with upright stance; some have bony spurs-which function as weapons-at the wing bend. Typically they show white wing patches and are finely black-barred below. They are not true geese, though they resemble them in some anatomic features.