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What are Benthic animals?

ok, this is a tricky one, and our word for today. Benthic animals are the organisms who live at the lowest level of a body of water such as a lake or ocean. They are sometimes called benthos. Sometimes they can be permanently attached to the bottom of the water bodies.

No, these are not benthic birds!

These of course are a winter visitor, the pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

The connection is that they like to eat benthic organisms like small fish, shrimps, snails, shellfish, and insects. Their long beaks and long legs allow Pied Avocets to walk with ease on the mud flats and shallows to search for food.

They swipe their upward curved beak sideways at the surface of water or mud to catch invertebrates and crustaceans, and - you got it - benthic organisms

Apparently the females have a stronger upcurve in their bill. The four species of avocets are a genus, Recurvirostra, of waders in the same avian family as the stilts. The genus name comes from Latin recurvus, "curved backwards" and rostrum, "bill".


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