Duck animal<<<< Back to domestic animals
- Areal: All continents
- Habitat: Near lakes and meadows
- Food: Grass, plants, seeds, fish
- Size: 40 - 70 cm (16 - 28 inch)
- Reproduction: 5 - 12 eggs
- Length: 86cm (34 inch)
- Lifespan: 20 years
- Other names: duck
The duck is very popular, and is found everywhere in the world except the frozen Antarctica. It loves water, walking along rivers and lakes and sometimes the sea. The duck is the name given to a variety of species in the Anatidae family. They are water birds, smaller than their relatives, swans and geese which can be found both in fresh and salt water.
Ducks have a diverse menu. They can eat grass, aquatic plants, fish, insects, small amphibians, worms and small molluscs.
Sinking ducks (Aythyinae) and marine ducks feed underwater. For an easier dive, they are heavier that other duck breeds, even if they have more difficulty when flying.
Ducks from the Anatinae subfamily (comprises the courtyard duck also) feed on the surface but can also catch underwater creatures, as long as they can reach them with their throat, without sinking completely.
Even if they have a small beak, some ducks can swallow big fish.
It carries its chubby body on some short and slender legs. Because of this, they stagger. The claws are joined by a membrane and it has an elongated beak, broad and square-shaped.
Body color varies depending on the species. Most domestic ducks are white, brown or various color combinations. Weighing little more than a chicken, their weight is between 2 and 4kg. They don't live alone, but with peers.
Duck's feathers, like the chicken or other birds, are light. The duck produces a substance that protects and prevents water from sticking to it. Therefore, comes out of water being dry. The legs end in fingers, joined by a membrane used for swimming. The fingers end in claws.
Ducks are often prey to other animals. The most vulnerable are young ducks and ducklings, because they have difficulty in flying and defending themselves. Ducks fall prey to several animals such as snakes, crocodiles and vultures. Female ducks brooding can be caught by a variety of forest animals such as foxes or wolves. In flight, ducks have almost no predator except man, and possibly the pilgrim hawk, which uses its agility to catch ducks in flight.
Adult ducks are good flyers; however the ones sitting in the water can be caught by marine predators. Wild ducks are often hunted for food or for sport, by shooting. Duck meat is found mostly on legs and chest. Its heart and liver are also edible.
They also have more economic uses; we use the meat, eggs and feathers (especially that of males). Ducks are often raised in farms for food and feathers. All domestic ducks come from their wild ancestor, Anas platyrhynchos, except the muscovy ducks. Domestic ducks are much larger than wild ones.
One thing is misunderstood by the majority, that most ducks, except the domestic ones and female Anas platyrhynchos, do not quack, but make other sounds. Another misunderstood thing is that the domestic duck's quack does not echo, but TV show MythBusters demonstrated that the duck's quack has a certain echo, even if it is shorter.
Ducks remained an accepted presence in cities; migration directions have remained unchanged for so long that when they migrate to the equator they return years in a row to the same cities. Usually, these birds don't bother human activities but can influence it, if they nest in men work places, such as cellars. We know that ducks are very sociable. Their quacking and funny and pleasant appearance, also its utility around the house makes the duck one of man's favorite animals.
In duck northern species, male ducks have a more colorful plumage to attract females. However, they shed this plumage in the summer, assuming an appearance closer to that of females. Southern species show less sexual dimorphism.
The wild duck builds a simple nest in tree hollows, bushes etc., lays 8 to 14 greenish eggs that she broods for 22 to 28 days.
At birth, the small ducklings are covered in fluff for a few weeks , after that feathers begin to grow.
Did you know that:
The duck can wiggles its tail.
The duck was domesticated before the hen.
Duck's quacking produces an echo. It is small.. but it is.