NANFA--OT: Duck Feet

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Wed, 2 Oct 2002 17:19:40 -0500

The age-old question of whether aquatic animals can be successfully
transported to new habitats on the feet (or plumage) of ducks is examined in
a recent literature review:

Figuerola, J. and A.J. Green. 2202. Dispersal of aquatic oprganisms by
waterbirds: a review of past research and priorities for future studies.
Freshwater Biology 47: 483-494.

Fishes data are not presented, but water fleas, seed shrimp, and scuds (and
probably bryozoans) can be dispersed by waterbirds.

Interesting sidelight - Charles Darwin apparently did one of the earliest
studies in this obscure area of biology. He removed the leg of a dead bird,
placed it in a tank with snails (which crawled onto it), and then waved it
around in the air (to simulate flying).
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