Posts tagged ‘Beak’

How does an octopus eat?

The octopus dwells on the ocean bottom, where it crawls about on its long, flexible tentacles.  It searches in every crevice for its favorite foods—crabs, lobsters, and shellfish.

An octopus’s tentacles are lined with cup-like suckers that enable it to grab and hold tightly to anything it catches.  The octopus then tears apart its prey with its strong parrot-like beak.

Some octopuses can inject a poison with their bite.  This poison is useful to the octopus in getting its food.  For instance, it can render a crab helpless, and thus easy for the octopus to capture and eat. –Dick Rogers

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What is a dodo?

Dodo

Dead as a dodo!  These words live on as a memorial for a puddy, flightless birds no one will ever see alive for it has been extinct nearly 300 years.

The dodo, whose name comes from the Portuguese word for “simpleton,” lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

Larger than a turkey, the dodo had an enormous beak, tiny wings, and a little tuft of curly feathers for a tall.  It waddled about on short legs that could scarcely support its fat body.

Unchallenged by enemies, the dodo was quite unafraid when men came to its island home.

The dodo couldn’t fly anyway.  It was too clumsy to flee.  Dodo birds were slaughtered by the thousands.

The eggs and young were easy prey for the rats and dogs the men brought with them.  By the end of the 17th century, there were no more dodos.

Today, we know what the dodo looked like only from its bones and from 17thcentury paintings of dodos.  – Dick Rogers

 

What does the pelican use its pouch for?

Pelican

Pelican are large, queer-looking water birds.  A pelican is easily recognized by the big pouch that hangs from the underside of its long beak.

The pelican does not store food in this pouch, as many people believe.  It uses the pouch as a scoop to catch fish, which are then quickly swallowed.

Pelicans known as “brown pelicans” are often seen along seashores.  To catch a fish, the brown pelican dives straight down into the water with open bill into a school of fish, scoops one up in his pouch, and swallows it.

While pelicans cannot dive under the water.  They hunt their fish while swimming in shallow water, using the big pouches under their long beaks as dragnets to capture small fish.

A pelican feeds its young by passing partly digested food from its stomach back up into the pouch.

The baby pelican sticks its head into the parent’s pouch and pecks-up the food.  – Dick Rogers

 

How does a chicken hatch from an egg?

Chicken Hatching

A baby chicken is born from an egg that comes from inside the mother hen.

The chick that is inside the newly laid egg is a tiny cell called a “germ cell”  that will develop into the baby chicken.

If you look closely at the yolk, or yellow part of a hen’s egg, you can see the germ cell as a light-colored, pinhead-sized dot on the top of the yolk.

The hen sits on the egg and keeps it warm.  While she sits, the germ cell divides into other cells that form all the parts of the baby chick.  The  chick grows until it is so big that it fills the whole egg.

When the chick is ready to hatch from the egg, it cracks the shell with its sharp beak and wiggles out.

All baby birds hatch from eggs the same way that the baby chickens come into the world.

Photo courtesy:  lancaster

What are puffins?

Puffin

Puffins are comical-looking sea birds of the north Atlantic Ocean.  Puffins are sometimes called sea parrots, these plump, short-winged sea birds are one of the world’s oddest-looking birds.

A white face with blue lines around the eyes and a comical waddle make the common puffin look like a circus clown.  Its enormous beak, colored with red, blue, and yellow bands, is nearly as large as its head.

The gaudy colors of the male puffin’s beak are just for show.  They are really colored growths that drop off after the nesting season.

Despite its comical appearance, the puffin is an expert flier and swimmer.  Puffins can actually swim underwater in pursuit of their prey.  A puffin can catch several fish, one after another, and carry them dangling crosswise in its beak to its nestling.

Puffins nest in large colonies on rocky coasts.  One white egg island in a burrow or crevice in the rocks at nestling time. – Dick Rogers

What does the Sawfish use its saw for?

Sawfish

The sawfish uses its saw like snout mainly to attack other fish to catch its food.

A sawfish looks like a big shark with a long, flat, saw like snout.

The “saw” of an adult sawfish is often 5 feet long, and is armed with sharp feet.  The sawfish uses its saw like snout mainly to catch it’s prey.

To get food, it attacks whole schools of fish, slashing left and right with its fearful weapon as it goes.  It then feasts upon the victims at its leisure.

The sawfish also uses its toothy snout to defend itself against strong enemies.

And the saw can also be used as a shovel for digging up shellfish and other food in the muddy sea bottom.

Because of its wicked snout, the sawfish is one of the most dangerous of all sea fish.  Even very young sawfish are dangerous.

Another interesting fish, also named after its long beak, is the swordfish.  The swordfish used its sword in much the same manner as the sawfish uses it saw. – Dick Rogers