A BILL THAT PAYS DIVIDENDS
The duck that can pump water with its tongue.
Shovelers move through water with heads low to the surface. The tongue has a swelling near the tip, and another near the back. As water enters the beak, it behaves both like a piston and valve, pumping backwards and forwards more than 10 times a second. Food particles are trapped on the filtering lamellae of the beak and bristly tongue. The rear tongue swelling is fringed with bristles called lingual scrapers, and these pick-up food and transfer it to the back of the mouth to be swallowed.