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A raven in flight

A raven is one of several larger-bodied species of the genus Corvus. These species do not form a single taxonomic group within the genus.

There is no consistent distinction between "crows" and "ravens", and these appellations have been assigned to different species chiefly on the basis of their size, crows generally being smaller than ravens.

The largest raven species are the common raven and the thick-billed raven.


The term "raven" originally referred to the common raven (Corvus corax), the type species of the genus Corvus, which has a larger distribution than any other species of Corvus, ranging over much of the Northern Hemisphere.

The modern English word raven has cognates in all other Germanic languages, including Old Norse (and subsequently modern Icelandic) hrafn[1] and Old High German (h)raban,[2] all of which descend from Proto-Germanic *hrabanaz.[3]

Collective nouns for a group of ravens (or at least the common raven) include "unkindness",[4] "treachery",[5] and "conspiracy".[6] In practice, most people use the more generic "flock".[7]

Current species

Extinct species

See also


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary entry for "raven."
  2. ^ Simpson, J.; Weiner, E., eds. (1989). "Raven". Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-861186-2.
  3. ^ "Raven". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2007.
  4. ^ Lipton, James (1991). An Exaltation of Larks. Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-30044-0.
  5. ^ "Baltimore Bird Club. Group Name for Birds: A Partial List". Retrieved 2007.
  6. ^ "University of California Golf Club. List of Collective Nouns". Archived from the original on 18 September 2004. Retrieved 2008.
  7. ^ "Google Ngram Viewer". books.google.com. Retrieved 2020.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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