Saturday, September 18, 2010

Conservation Week - the duck with teeth

Auckland Island Merganser
(RIP 1902)
The Merganser is a type of fish-eating duck and there are a number of species found worldwide. They are unusual in having serrated edges to their beak, which are ideal for holding onto their fishy prey. This smart wee bird was found in the Auckland Islands, south of New Zealand and also fossils suggest perhaps some other offshore New Zealand islands too. It is believed that predation and hunting by humans are responsible for its decline. Whilst capable of flight, it preferred to duck and take cover when threatened, making it a "sitting duck" for predators.

No comments: