A Fold-able Neck

Being a kayaker on the gulf coast of Texas gives me the opportunity to observe Herons and Egrets regularly since they inhabit all our waterways and are hard to miss with their large size, striking appearance, and long legs. They are the coast's most patient and numerous fishermen.

The casual observer might fail to notice a biological marvel of creation that is easily seen: what they can do with their long sleek necks. They can actually fold their necks into an S shape. Just because an animal has a long neck doesn’t mean it is fold-able. Giraffes can’t fold their necks, and neither can geese or deer.

By Alan Vernon
These birds have special vertebrae in their necks which are accompanied by unique muscles and tendons. Their heads are almost all beak — long sharp beak. They use this beak for grabbing and spearing fish. The long neck and special vertebrae allow the bird to get its beak stealthily within rage of a fish before striking with blinding fish spearing speed. Our creator is an amazing engineer.

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