Snipe feeding adaptation

To: <>, <>
Subject: Snipe feeding adaptation
From: "Mike" <>
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2003 20:09:22 +1000

What a wow of a shot - thank you for publishing it for us to see.

I am quoting from Frank B. Gills book "Ornithology" p. 148.

"...birds can flex or bend the upper half of the bill, an ability called 
cranial kinesis.  The maxilla of most birds flexes only at the nasofrontal 
hinge.  In some birds, the dorsal ridge of the bill itself bends - 
rhynchokinesis- at the base of the bill, near the tip of the bill, or at both 
sides.  A woodcock, a longbilled, snipelike bird, can open just the tip of its 
bill to grasp an earthworm deep in the mud.

Hope this satisfies your curiosity.

Cheers & Happy birding


Prof Mike Tarburton
Dean: School of Science and Technology
Pacific Adventist University
PMB, Boroko
Papua New Guinea

> ----------
> From:         Niven
> Reply To:     
> Sent:         1 November 2003 22:23
> To:   
> Subject:      [BIRDING-AUS] Snipe feeding adaptation
> Hi all
> I'm aware that snipe are able to open the bill tip without opening the rest of
> the bill, and indeed I was flukey enough to photograph a Swinhoe's Snipe
> doing it today (, BUT I
> seem to recall that this feature has a name. Does anyone know what it is?
> And, which other waders (or other birds) can do it?
> Thanks
> Niven

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