The bills of sandpipers draw food into their mouth via capillary action.
"Instead of filtering, as do most planktivores, these small birds 'tweezer' prey. But that puts the prey at the tip of the bill, not the pharynx. Gaping the bill slightly, though, creates an interface, as in fig. 5.8a). The water then does its part - surface tension reduces the area of interface by making the droplet of water move up and back from the bill's tip." (Vogel 2003:107)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
No one has provided updates yet.