- A bird of the genus <em>Parra</em> or <em>Jacana</em>, as <em>P. jacana</em> or <em>J. spinosa</em>; the book-name of any bird of the family <em>Parridæ</em> or <em>Jacanidæ.</em>
- There are several genera and species, of both the old and the new world. These remarkable birds resemble plovers and rails, but are most nearly related to the former. In the typical American forms the tail is short, and the legs and toes are long, with enormous straight claws which enable the birds to run easily over the floating leaves of aquatic plants. There is a horny spur on the bend of the wing, and a naked frontal leaf and wattles at the base of the bill. <em>Parra gymnostoma</em> is the Mexican jacana, which is also found in the United States. The pheasant-tailed jacana of India, <em>Hydrophasianus chirurgus</em>, has no frontal or rictal lobes, and has a very long tail like a pheasant. The Indo-African jacanas belong to the genus <em>Metopodius</em>; that of the East Indies is <em>Hydralector cristatus.</em>
- [<em>capitalized</em>] [NL.] A genus of jacanas, the same as <internalXref urlencoded="Parra">Parra</internalXref>, lately made the name-giving genus of <em>Jacanidæ. Brisson</em>, 1760. Also written <internalXref urlencoded="Iacana">Iacana</internalXref>.
- Any of several wading birds belonging to the genus Jacana and several allied genera, all of which have spurs on the wings. They are able to run about over floating water weeds by means of their very long, spreading toes. Called also <altname>surgeon bird</altname>.
- A group of <xref>wading</xref> <xref>birds</xref> in the family Jacanidae, usually having long <xref>toes</xref> and <xref>claws</xref> and found throughout the <xref>world</xref>.