The upper bill of a whio (blue duck) has a semi-circular soft flap that helps protect the harder part of the bill from abrasion as the bird pries larvae from rocks in the river. The tiny comb-like structures (lamellae) around the edge of the beak allow the whio to strain small animals, insects and plants out of the water.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Nature's Pic Images
Photograph by Rob Suisted
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