This group includes the sandgrouse and Syrrhaptes species. These birds have a very dense plumage and down. They live in deserts, semi-deserts, savannahs and steppes. They feed almost exclusively on seeds. They are gregarious animals that live in groups except during the breeding season.  Their feathers are coloured to blend in with the landscape they occupy. Sandgrouse and Syrrhaptes were formerly classified with pigeons in the Columbiformes. Today, they form the sister group to the Mesitornithiformes (Mesites of Madagascar).