Van Tets (1976) proposed to divide the family into two genera and attach the name "cormorant" to one and "shag" to the other, but this flies in the face of common usage and has not been widely adopted.The scientific genus name is Latinised Ancient Greek, from φαλακρός (phalakros, "bald") and κόραξ (korax, "raven").
Notwithstanding, all evidence agrees that the cormorants and shags are closer to the darters and Sulidae (gannets and boobies), and perhaps the pelicans or even penguins, than to all other living birds.
In recent years, three preferred treatments of the cormorant family have emerged: either to leave all living cormorants in a single genus, Phalacrocorax, or to split off a few species such as the imperial shag complex (in Leucocarbo) and perhaps the flightless cormorant.
This is often thought to refer to the creamy white patch on the cheeks of adult great cormorants, or the ornamental white head plumes prominent in Mediterranean birds of this species, but is certainly not a unifying characteristic of cormorants.
"Cormorant" is a contraction derived either directly from Latin corvus marinus, "sea raven" or through Brythonic Celtic.
As other species were discovered by English-speaking sailors and explorers elsewhere in the world, some were called cormorants and some shags, depending on whether they had crests or not.
Sometimes the same species is called a cormorant in one part of the world and a shag in another, e.g., the great cormorant is called the black shag in New Zealand (the birds found in Australasia have a crest that is absent in European members of the species).
When police arrived at the scene, the girl said she had sex with Whitfield, according to the report.
Phalacrocoracidae is a family of some 40 species of aquatic birds commonly known as cormorants and shags.
Cormoran is the Cornish name of the sea giant in the tale of Jack the Giant Killer.