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Aves - Neognathae - Charadriiformes - Rynchopidae - Rynchops - Rynchops niger

Articulated Cranium and Mandible (Attached Skull and Jaw) of a Rynchops niger (Black Skimmer)


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Species Description
Rynchops niger, also known as the Black Skimmer, is one of three species in the skimmer family, which get their name from their unique feeding behavior. The lower mandible is elongated compared to the upper portion allowing them to skim the water’s surface in hopes of catching insects, mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish. At hatching the mandibles are of equal length, but throughout fledging, the upper and lower parts quickly become unequal in length. They breed on the sandy shores of North and South America, the male and female Black Skimmer incubate about 4 or 5 bluish or darkened buffed eggs. The chicks leave the nest right after hatching and rest in the area of the nest where they are protected from the severe temperatures. The young skimmers are fed only during the day, because the parents depart the colony to hunt in the evening. The body of this seabird is 40-50 cm, oddly proportioned with long narrow wings, short red legs, and a knife-like bill. Another unique feature of the Black Skimmer is its vertical pupil surrounded by a dark brown iris. If you see a bird with a graceful flight, skimming the surface of the waters, loafing on sandbars or coasts, or if you hear a call sounding like a barking “kak-kak-kak,” then the Black Skimmer is near.
Skeletal Elements Available

Mandible (Jawbone )

Mandible (Jawbone )

Mandible (Jawbone )

Mandible (Jawbone )

Mandible (Jawbone )

Mandible (Jawbone )

Left Humerus (Left Upper Arm Bone)

Right Humerus (Right Upper Arm Bone)

Mandible (Jawbone )

Right Tibiotarsus and Fibula (Right Middle Leg Bones)

Left Tibiotarsus and Fibula (Left Middle Leg Bones)

Right Humerus (Right Upper Arm Bone)

Cranium (Skull)

Mandible (Jawbone )

Articulated Cranium and Mandible (Attached Skull and Jaw)

Left Humerus (Left Upper Arm Bone)

Left Femur (Left Upper Leg Bone)

Right Femur (Right Femur)

Left Tibiotarsus and Fibula (Left Middle Leg Bones)

Right Tibiotarsus and Fibula (Right Middle Leg Bones)

Left Tarsometatarsus (Left Fused Element Consisting of Ankle and Middle Foot Bones)

Left Humerus (Left Upper Arm Bone)

Mandible (Jawbone )

Furcula (Wishbone)

Right Humerus (Right Upper Arm Bone)

Left Tarsometatarsus (Left Fused Element Consisting of Ankle and Middle Foot Bones)

Right Tarsometatarsus (Right Fused Element Consisting of Ankle and Middle Foot Bones)
External Links
Encyclopedia of Life
Wikipedia

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