A BILL THAT PAYS DIV­I­DENDS

The duck that can pump wa­ter with its tongue.

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild November -

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.

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