Its beak is the result of an evolutionary adaptation to its dietary habits
The African Openbill is a small stork of 80 cm but it has a very particular beak, spaced out in its center even when it is closed. Hence its name.
It is the result of an evolutionary adaptation to its very specialized dietary habits.
Indeed, the African Openbill feeds mainly on water snails and the shape of its beak enables it to grip the shell in order to winkle the mollusc out and eat it. These “snail pliers” are another fine example of what would have pleased Darwin.
This stork lives in colonies, close to pools and ponds and it nests in tall trees.
The African species has black plumage with metallic reflexions.
There is also an Indian species, which has a clear plumage.
A less threatened species
- Name : African Openbill
- Latin name: Anastomus lamelligerus
- Origin : Sub-Saharan Africa
- IUCN status : Least concerned
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