Animals Kids Love:10 Fun Facts About Ducks – Animal Facts
From parks to backyard farms to flea market petting zoos chances are you have seen a duck. These waddling waterfowl are everywhere. But how much do you know about these web-footed feathered friends?
We present 10 Fun Facts About Ducks.
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10. The word duck comes from the Old English noun “dūce” meaning “diver”, a derivative of the verb “dūcan” meaning “to duck or bend down low as if to get under something, or dive”, because of the way many species of ducks feed by going bottom up.
A male duck is called a Drake and the female is called a duck, or a hen, while a baby duck is called a duckling or sometimes a chick.
9. Ducks are not one species of animal.
All types of ducks are part of the bird family Anatidae, which also includes swans and geese. These types of birds are known as Anseriformes, which consists of at least 166 known species, though some may be extinct.
Duck species can be found on every continent of the world except for Antarctica. And, some duck species, such as the Mallard, are found around the world, while others have very small, restricted ranges.
Most domesticated ducks descend from wild Mallard ducks. Wikipedia lists 83 breeds of domestic ducks, but there are perhaps hundreds of purebred and hybrid domestic duck breeds.
8. Ever heard the phrase “like water off a duck’s back”? It’s usually used to say a criticism has no effect on the person being criticized. And water really does just roll off a duck’s back.
All ducks have waterproof feathers as a result of an intricate feather structure and a waxy coating that is spread on each feather while preening.
Preening is the process by which ducks groom themselves—getting rid of dust, dirt, and parasites from their feathers, while also helping to waterproof their outer layer. During preening, ducks spread a waxy, waterproof oil secreted by their uropygial gland, which is located near their tails.
A duck’s feathers are so waterproof that even when the duck dives underwater, its downy underlayer of feathers right next to the skin will stay completely dry.
7. No one ever called a duck a picky eater. Ducks are omnivorous and will eat grass, aquatic plants, insects, seeds, fruit, fish, crustaceans and pretty much anything else they can get their beaks on. This opportunistic eating helps ensure they always have plenty of food to eat.
Domestic ducks love to forage around a garden. They search in mulch and under plants for tasty grubs and worms. Ducks like to eat grass, so they will enjoy grazing on your lawn and keeping the weeds down. You will need to fence them out of your vegetable garden however or they might eat it all!
6. A common urban legend is that a ducks quack does not echo. This has been conclusively disproved through different scientific acoustic tests and was even featured as “busted” on an episode of the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters. Despite stories to the contrary, a duck’s quack does indeed echo.
5. Ducks have been domesticated as pets and farm animals for more than 500 years, and most domestic ducks are descended from either the Mallard or the Muscovy duck.
As I stated earlier, there are a wide variety of domestic duck breeds. The all-white Pekin duck (also called the Long Island duck) is the most common breed raised for eggs and meat, especially on large commercial farms.
Although individual farmers often try different duck breeds depending on their needs and tastes.
4. Ducks have other economic uses other than meat and eggs.
For example, their feathers, particularly the underlying ‘down’ feathers, are used in many products, like feather pillows. Duck poop or manure can also be used as a rich fertilizer.
3. Worldwide, ducks have many predators. Ducklings are particularly vulnerable since their inability to fly makes them easy prey not only for predatory birds but also for large fish, crocodilians, and other aquatic hunters. Ducks’ nests are raided by land-based predators, and brooding females may be caught unaware on the nest by mammals, such as foxes, or large birds, such as hawks or owls.
In flight, ducks are usually safe from all but a few predators such as humans and some falcons.
2. The male ducks or Drakes of northern species often have extravagant plumage, that is molted in summer to give a more female-like appearance, which is called “eclipse” plumage.
Southern resident species typically show fewer differences between male and female. although there are exceptions like the Paradise Shelduck of New Zealand which is both strikingly dimorphic and where the female’s plumage is brighter than that of the male. The plumage of juvenile birds generally resembles that of the female.
1. In 2002, psychologists at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, finished a year-long LaughLab experiment, concluding that of all animals, ducks attract the most humor and silliness; he said, “If you’re going to tell a joke involving an animal, make it a duck.”
Which may explain your iPhone’s autocorrect affinity for the word “Duck”.
“Duck” may have become an inherently funny word in many languages, because ducks are seen as silly in their looks or mannerisms. Of the many ducks in fiction, many are cartoon characters, such as Walt Disney’s Donald Duck, and Warner Bros.’ Daffy Duck. Howard the Duck started as a comic book character in 1973 and was made into a movie in 1986.
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