A number of wattled waders have evolved displaying spectacular caruncles to adorn their heads. Principle among these birds are the lapwings (Vanellidae) but a number of jacanas (Jacanidae) show flamboyant face furniture too.
A caruncle is a small, fleshy protuberance displayed by an bird or animal. It is not an abnormality but part of their normal physical make up. In birds they take many forms such as wattles, lappets, combs and snoods. The word derives from the Latin word caruncula which is the diminutive of the word caro which means, flesh.
There are 11 species of Vanellus lapwing that have caruncles in varying degrees, of which the White-crowned Lapwing (right)is one of the most spectacular.
There are also 3 species of jacana, including the aptly named Wattled Jacana (left).