It is not easy to say when any example of the bird first came under the eyes of British ornithologists; but in the Zoological Proceedings for Seriema.
The Seriema, owing to its long legs and neck, stands some two feet or more in height, and in menageries bears itself with a stately deportment.
To these follow the tanagers (Tanagridae), with upwards of forty genera (only one of which crosses the border), and about 300 species; the piculules (Dendrocolaptidae), with as many genera, and over 200 species; the ant-thrushes, (Formicariidae), with more than thirty genera, and nearly 200 species; together with other groups which, if not so large as those just named, are yet just as well defined, and possibly more significant, namely, the tapaculos (Pteroptochidae), the toucans (Rhamphastidae), the jacamars (Galbulidae), the motmots (Monotidae), the todies (Todidae), the trumpeters (Psophiidae), and the screamers (Palamedeidae); besides such isolated forms as the seriema (Cariama), and the sun-bittern (Eurypyga).
The first of them, Accipitres, comprehending all the birds-of-prey, were separated into 4 " cohorts " in his original work, but these were reduced in his appendix to two - Nyctharpages or owls with 4 families divided into 2 series, and Hemeroharpages containing all the rest, and comprising io families (the last of which is the seriema, Dicholophus) divided into 2 groups as Rapaces and Saprophagi - the latter including the vultures.
The young are hatched ' Yet Forbes states (Ibis, 1881, p. 358) that Seriema comes from Siri, " a diminutive of Indian extraction," and Ema, the Portuguese name for the Rhea (see Emeu), the whole thus meaning "Little Rhea."