Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday's fascinations, facts, and folklore - Bird Bills vs Beaks

What is the difference between beaks and bills?

It used to be that parrots, hawks, eagles and vultures had beaks - curved downwards structures for tearing fruit or flesh, and all other birds had bills - more dainty pointed structures.

Photo by Praziquantel

Nowadays however, either term can be used for birds as the distinction has been lost and the terms are used interchangeably.

The beak can also refer to a wide range of other animals, including turtles, some insects, some fish and a few mammals. But the bill is only used for birds (apart from the duck-billed platypus!)...but maybe the dog species shown in the photo below...?

Photo by Nathan

2 comments:

Milka said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Alena

http://smallpet.info

Ruth said...

How lovely that you took the time to comment Alena. So nice to hear that you are enjoying my blog. I hope that continues. I enjoyed reading about your "small pets" too - you are so right in the bond that develops between us and animals.

Anyhow - hope you'll comment again soon.
Take care
Ruth