prehistoric-looking Shoebill Chicks Have A Pretty Grim Strategy For Growing Up Strong

Life is hard as a chick like a shoebill. Born with a scythe heavy enough to hatch, shoebill pups are highly dependent for the first few weeks of wingless life, needing adequate water and food not only to survive but also to succeed. It is football-sized balls, a long journey of downy feathers, which are lucky – one day will grow to 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall as adults.

Unfortunately, for siblings born with siblings, the chances of making them so far are not so certain. 

Shoe breeding shoes are exclusive when there are very lonely animals for most of the year. Once fertilized, the female will lay eggs in her nest, both parents will lean towards turning, protecting, and encouraging their potential offspring until their young hatch, where on average females lay two eggs. They live in East African wetlands and wetlands found in Ethiopia, South Sudan and Zambia. What happened next will probably seal the fate of both chicks; the eggs that lay earlier are more likely to be before they become day-younger siblings.

prehistoric-looking Shoebill Chicks Have A Pretty Grim Strategy For Growing Up Strong

This small benefit will have a big impact on the outcome of children’s lives, as their parents begin to attack the weakest when they take action. Adult shoebills are wide and one-third (one foot) long, with a point hook that helps them cope with large prey. Favorites include fish such as tilapia, lungfish and catfish – and they even known to scoop up snakes, monitor lizards and baby crocodiles.

It is easy to see why some people find this Muppet-turned-dinosaur (mixed with their scientific name, Balaeniceps rex) to be a bit scary, as they float on thin, watery terrestrial rivers with powerful Mr. Burns vibe. Their hunting technique does very little to reduce this reputation, as they build statues for hours to pass the prey in a hunting strategy known as “collapse”. While trying to cool off by shaking, they add the word hunter-gatherer (have you ever seen Pelican Ian to speak? Yes) and you have got yourself quite a Disney Pixar villain.

Although a bit cunning in nature, these unusual quirks make the parents better on the one hand, returning home with a bucket of loaded water or a large dead fish to share. Good parenting ends logically here, but there is no shame in admitting there is a choice of shoebills. 

The little shabbier shoebill puppy that regularly cheated on by her older, stronger siblings is unlikely to see much of the spoils of her parents, who focus their energy and attention only on the strongest among their younger siblings. Without resources, these little chicks are likely to die, and it is only natural that only one of the two eggs laid would survive maturity at about three to four years of age. 

Shoebills currently listed as unprotected on the IUCN Red List, as their land for laying eggs is declining, and cattle nesting are a real issue. Shoebills also hunted for food in some parts of the world or considered a bad habit.