raven, common name for the largest members of the family Corvidae (crow family), ranging throughout the arctic and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The common raven, Corvus corax, is a glossy black scavenging bird about 26 in. (66 cm) long, with a call resembling a guttural croak. Long the subject of superstition and legend, the raven can be tamed and taught to mimic human speech. Ravens are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Corvidae.
See studies by B. Heinrich (repr. 1991; 1999).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.