Bird Copies Whales to Catch Food

Science Illustrated - - ANTARCTICA -

The broad-billed prion's beak is de­signed in the same way as the mouths of big baleen whales. In the up­per beak, you will find about 250 lamel­lae in two rows ap­prox­i­mately 1/10 mm apart.

When the pri­ons search for food, they use a method known as hy­droplan­ing. Fly­ing with their beaks over the ocean, they im­merse their lower beaks into the wa­ter. When they find krill, wa­ter fleas, or other plank­ton, they raise their lower beaks, forc­ing it firmly against the up­per beak. Sub­se­quently, they use their tongues to force the wa­ter out be­tween the lamel­lae, cap­tur­ing and swal­low­ing the crea­tures.

Broad-billed prion beaks con­tain lamel­lae that func­tion just like baleens.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.