why do water birds have webbed feet

Have you ever noticed that some animals have bodies that are odd looking? Animal bodies that seem strange are usually made that way for a reason. Through thousands of years, animals' bodies have adapted, or changed, to suit the needs of each animal. Examples of these
adaptations might be very long noses for catching insects or eyes on the side of the head to watch for predators. One common adaptation is webbed feet. If you look at a duck's foot, you'll see that their toes are connected by a thin piece of skin. This is what makes a webbed foot. Why would some animals have webbed feet?


Most animals with webbed feet are aquatic animals who live in, on, or near the water. Webbed feet help them move quickly through the water when they are chasing food or trying to escape from predators. Have you ever worn swim fins? We put them on our feet to help us swim faster. Webbed feet do the same thing. They also help animals walk on muddy ground, which can be slippery. In addition to ducks, many different kinds of birds have webbed feet. These include geese, swans, petrels, albatrosses, flamingos, terns, and puffins. Some gulls and penguins also have webbed feet.


One group of birds, including pelicans and related birds like cormorants, darters, gannets, frigatebirds, and tropicbirds, have very broad, webbed feet that help them swim very well. This group of birds is the only group that has webbing between all four of their toes; most other birds only have webbing between three toes. Some amphibians and reptiles also have webbed feet, and they use them in the same ways as birds. Webbed feet come in handy for swimming quickly through the water. Crocodiles and alligators have webbed back feet. Some turtles have webbed feet, but tortoises, which spend their time on land, don't.


Similarly, aquatic frogs, which live in water, have webbed feet, but frogs that live on land, such as tree frogs, don't have webbed feet because they don't need them. Waddle this way! Ducks can fly and walk, but they also usually spend a lot of time in water. Because of this, they have special webbed feet that help them get around in the water! Have you ever been in a kayak or a canoe and used a paddle to help the boat move through water? A duck s webbed feet work a lot like these same paddles! By closing in the space between their three front toes, the ducks are able to push more water and swim faster than if the water was slipping right through the space in between!


Ducks feet are also special because they are born without in their feet so they can t feel when water is cold! This allows them to swim to swim in cold water without being bothered. The reason ducks waddle when they walk also has to do with the way their feet are built. In addition to the three front toes with the webbing, ducks also have a raised hind toe. This fourth toe helps them with walking on land and is also responsible for their wobbling waddle!

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