The Phalacrocoracidae family of birds is represented by 38 species of cormorants and shags.
Cormorants and shags are medium-to-large seabirds.
The bill is long, thin, and sharply hooked.
Their feet are four-toed and webbed, a distinguishing feature among the Pelecaniformes order.
They are coastal rather than oceanic birds, and some have colonised inland waters.
They range around the world, except for the central Pacific islands.
All are fish-eaters, dining on small eels, fish, and even water snakes.
They dive from the surface, though many species make a characteristic half-jump as they dive, presumably to give themselves a more streamlined entry into the water.
Under water they propel themselves with their feet.
Some cormorant species have been found, using depth gauges, to dive to depths of as much as 45 metres.