Posts tagged ‘Webbed Feet’

How does a duck keep dry in the water?

Duck

A duck’s feathers are made water-proof by oil from a special oil gland near its tail.

A duck is able to deep dry while swimming because its coat of closely packed feathers is actually waterproof.

A duck’s feathers are made waterproof by oil from a special oil gland hear the duck’s tail, which the duck rubs on its feathers.  Oil and water will not mix, and so the water will not soak into the oil-covered feathers and the duck keeps dry.

A duck or any other water bird that covers its feathers with oil, such as a swan or a goose, will sink in the water if the oil is removed.

A thick undercoat of down helps keep the duck warm in icy waters.  A duck swims by paddling with its webbed feet.  A baby duck does not need swimming lessons.  It knows to swim as soon as it hatches from the egg.

The mother duck leads the baby ducks to the water as soon as they are able to travel.   The ducklings cannot fly for six weeks or more after they hatch.

Though a duck can swim with easy grace in the water, it waddles clumsily on land.  It is hard for ducks to walk because their legs are short and placed so far on the body. – Dick Rogers

Advertisements

Why doesn’t a bird fall off its perch when it sleeps?

Perhaps you, too, have wondered how sparrows and other perching birds can sleep on a twig or branch without falling off.  The answer is that the sleeping bird cant fall because it feet are actually “locked” on the perch.

Bird

Each of the bird’s toes are connected with a cord inside the log.  When the bird sits on a branch, the bending of the leg tightens the cord and pulls the toes around the branch.

As a result, the toes are clamped to the branch and even in sleep the bird cannot lose its hold.  The toes are loosened only when the bird awakens and stands up.

By looking at a bird’s feet we can tell a good deal about its way of life.  The strong feet of hawks and owls are provided with sharp, curved talons with which to catch their prey.

Ducks and other swimming birds have webbed feet which they use to paddle through water.

Still other birds have feet adapted for climbing, scratching, wading, running, and so on. – Dick Rogers

 

What is a sea gull?

Around the seacoast there is probably no bird more familiar than the sea gull.

It is a large, long-winged bird with mostly white feathers.  Its graceful soaring and wheeling flight makes the sea gull a pleasure to watch.

Sea gulls have webbed feet and often alight on the water to feed or rest.  They float and swim easily, often roosting on the waves.

Sea Gull

Sea gulls are the scavengers of the seashore.  A sea gull will eat almost any kind of food it can swallow.  Its favorite food is garbage.

Sea gulls often follow ships for many miles, eagerly swooping down upon any garbage that is thrown overboard.  Large flocks congregate in harbors where there are plenty of floating scraps of food to eat.

Besides garbage, sea gulls eat fish and will even rob the nests of other birds for eggs.

Thousands of sea gulls will often be found nesting on the same island or rock cliff. – Dick Rogers

 

What is a duck-billed platypus?

It would be hard to find a stronger creature in the world than the duck-billed platypus that lives in Australia and Tasmania.  It is also the strangest creature.

What makes this “impossible” creature so odd is that it has a bill like a duck, where most other mammals have noses and lips.  It has the soft thick fur of a mole, and a paddle-shaped tall like a beaver.

Duck Billed-Platypus

It has webbed feet, too, and it lays eggs and hatches them like a chicken.  But after the eggs have hatched, the mother platypus nurses her babies with milk as do other mammals.

A fully grown duckbill may be nearly two feet long counting its tail, and weight 6 pounds.  This shy creature spend most of the day hiding in a grass-lined den, deep in some mud bank.

Like beavers, platypuses live in streams and ponds.  they do not build dams, but dig deep tunnels far into the bank, from under water.  The long upward-sloping tunnel leads to the “living room.”

The shy platypus is seldom seen.  it hides deep in its burrow by day.  It comes out at night to hunt for worms, snails, and other small water creatures which it digs up which it finds by stirring the muddy stream bottom of the pond with its rubbery bill. – Dick Rogers