The beak of a puffin can carry many fish at once because the bird uses its tongue to hold the fish against serrations on the upper mandible.
"These puffins sport beaks that look as if they have been painted for a carnival…It is able to carry as many as 20 fish in its beak by holding them with its tongue against the serrated upper mandible." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:150)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Foy, Sally; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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