Juvenile Little Grebe’s Feet

posted in: Morphology-Develop. | 0

“The Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) is a water bird that spend most of its time either on the water surface or diving into water. Naturally, its feet remain mostly submerged and hardly visible. It is rare to see the Little Grebe on land, let alone see it on its feet. The Little Grebe’s feet are, hence, shrouded in mystery.

“In an earlier post LINK, I mentioned that the Little Grebe’s feet are located near the rear of its body. Attached are images of a juvenile Little Grebe that were taken in early September 2012. It was playing with its feet; providing rare glimpses of them above water. The juvenile was floating free and easy on the water when one of its its feet was raised above water. Drifting on the water with its rear facing me, I crossed my fingers that it would provide another opportunity to view its feet from another angle. It obliged by twirling both feet above on separate occasions. It can be clearly seen that both feet are attached right at its rear end.

“After some preening, this juvenile showed that it can even float freely with its feet tucked by its flanks. ‘See – no feet in water!’ it seemed to be saying. Thanks, little guy. Thanks for showing us your secretive feet. It’s an eye opener for me.”

Kwong Wai Chong
Singapore
21st October 2012

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