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Anatidae

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Anatidae
Anatidae.jpg
Scientific Classification
Subfamilies
White Duck
White duck.jpg

Anatidae is a taxonomic family of waterfowl birds that consists of ducks, geese, and swans. They are located all over the world except for on some of the colder continents and islands. They are equipped with webbed feet and feathers that allow them to float, swim, and in some cases dive into the water. They mostly live where there is water but migrate seasonally to where they don't have a specific place where they live. They have long, broad bodies with long necks and short, strong legs. Since the year of 1600 five species have become extinct and today many more are becoming known as threatened. So the government, worried people,and other organizations are working toward setting a law to where there won't be hunting allowed of this family.

Contents

Anatomy

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Anatidae all range in different sizes but have the general elongated and broad body shape. However the diving ones have a bit more round shape to them. They have short pointed wings that are held up by a strong muscle. This particular muscle generates quick and rapid beats while the bird is in the air to keep it at flight. Their legs are short yet strong and located toward the back of their body. Along with their short legs they have webbed feet. These help them wade in water better making swimming easier and more swift.[1] Because Anatidae is a type of bird they have the same basic anatomy which is a nostril, forehead, beak, eye, crest, eye coverts, neck, shoulder, back, rump, primartes, tail, cloaca and vent, feet, abdomen, side and throat, along with the other things listed in the sentences before.[2]

Reproduction

The anatids reproduce sexually. Generally they are monogamous and seasonal breeders, however, this tends to vary within the specific family. The larger geese, swan, and more territorial ducks stay with their mate for several years, as the smaller ducks change their mates more frequently. For most species they are adapted for copulation on the water, but the Anatidae are one of the few types of birds that have a penis. The mother bird builds her nest from her down feathers and things she finds close around her. Once her eggs are lain she sits on them and incubates them until they are ready to hatch. The babies are precocial so after they're born they can instantly feed themselves. [3]

Ecology

Duck in wetlands

Anatidae are mostly herbivorous, when adults, and eat a variety of water plants. Some species, along with plants, eat fish, mollusks, or aquatic arthropods, and then there are the ones who eat only fish. Their young's diet consists generally of a wide variety of invertebrate species, but become herbivores as the get older.

As they eat plants, fish, and invertebrates, other things prey on them. The two main ones are hawks and humans. The hawks mainly hunt for their eggs to eat, whereas, the human go for the actual duck itself.

They live mainly in marshlands, coastal waters, lakes, rivers, and streams. Although all of these places are all made of water they can also live on land. However, due to their migration patterns there is no specific place that they live in, it tends to change often during the various seasons. [4]

Relationship With Humans

Over the years the relationship between Anatidae and humans have changed and grown. In the past we have used their down feathers to make pillows and bedding. We have also used the animals themselves as food.

Ducks, geese, and swans are both helpful and harmful to us economically and culturally. They, as well as us humans, have benefited from using each other to our own advantages. However, some of these birds are agricultural pests, and have also played a role as vectors for animal diseases such as avian influenza.

Five different species have become extinct since the year 1600 because of human activities, with sub fossils to prove it true. Because of the increasing amounts of human activity today, many more species are said to have become known as threatened. Due to these recent findings the government, along with many other concerned people and organizations, have put up a hunting law to help protect and lower the extinction rate of the anatidae. [5]

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