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Length 160-180 cm, wingspan 230-260 cm, and weight 4-6.8 kg.
An extinct subspecies P. c. novaezealandiae has been described from subfossils in New Zealand.
Marine and freshwater environments, lakes and rivers.
They nest communally. The nest is a shallow depression in earth or sand, sometimes with some grass lining. Up to three chalky white eggs are laid.
The diet includes fish.
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