July 18, 2013 | 59
Back in February 2001, noted ornithischiphile Pete Buchholz accused ducks of being boring. How dare he. I could only respond…
“Errm… the evolution of carpal spurs and knobs, extreme pugnacity and territoriality, nest parasitism, creching behaviour, parental carrying of young both in the water and (!) in the air, monogamous pair-bonding, underwater copulation and the (?)reinvention of the penis, major sexual variation in tracheal structure, grass-eating and 20-minute gut carrying time, niche partitioning according to intestine size, carrion feeding on Subantarctic islands, the evolution of fern-eating, island giantism, island dwarfism, crepuscularity, serrated bill margins, filter feeding with buccal lamellae, deep-diving, species where males are flightless but females flighted, coevolution of browsing forms with spiky lobelioideaens, repeated increases and decreases in body size during phylogeny, the annual transportation of TONNES of sand… and, pant pant pant, quacking.
How *ON EARTH* can ducks be boring?????”
Ok, some of the claims made in the above (the one about penises, for example) are questionable and now seem incorrect, but I think you get the point. For Tet Zoo articles on ducks and other anseriforms, see…
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