The number of toes is four, unless the hallux is more or less reduced.
Front toes webbed; hallux small or absent.
The hind-limb is typically avine, with intertarsal joint, distally reduced fibula, and the three elongated metatarsals which show already considerable anchylosis; reduction of the toes to four, with 2, 3, 4 and 5 phalanges; the hallux is separate, and as usual in recent birds posterior in position.
Order Colymbiformes.-Plantigrade, nidifugous, aquatic. All toes webbed, fourth largest, hallux short; metatarsus laterally compressed; tibia with high, pyramidal crest.
Front toes completely webbed; hallux very short or absent; feed chiefly on small aquatic invertebrates.