Ducks. They're cute, they're familiar, and they live on every continent except Antarctica. But how much do we really know about them?
Here are seven fun facts about ducks:
1. A duck's feathers are waterproof.
There's an oil-producing gland, the preen gland, located at the base of a duck's tail. The duck uses the oil from this gland to coat its feathers ("preening").
This allows the duck's underlayer of downy feathers to stay completely dry even when the duck is fully submerged underwater.
2. Duck eggs have thousands of tiny pores, many of which are clustered at the large end of the egg.
These pores allow water vapor and other life-sustaining gases to travel to the developing embryo inside.
3. Ducks see in color.
4. Contrary to popular belief, a duck quack DOES echo, but duck vocalizations aren't limited to quacks.
They squeal, squeak, chirp, growl, groan, bray, and whistle, too.
5. Ducks don't usually mate for life, but they do remain monogamous for each breeding season.
6. Ducks are omnivores.
Everything from marine plants, to small fish, to insects, to crustaceans, to fruit is on the menu.
7. Depending on the species and whether or not they are captive or wild, ducks can live anywhere from 2-20 years.
There are multiple documented cases of both wild and domestic ducks living well past the age of 20.
Now you're armed with a little extra knowledge about our endearing, web-footed friends.
These duck facts will make you want to run out and get baby ducks!
Other duck facts?
- Duck species include Muscovy ducks, Mallard ducks, Pekin ducks (or white Pekin), and Sea ducks
- They are wonderful farm animals and different species of ducks fit into various backyard flocks
- They have waterproof feathers! And a special gland positioned near their tails called the preen gland (the waxy coating). This gland produces an oil, which ducks rub over their feathers with their beaks to maintain their waterproof effect.
- Female ducks are very loyal and make good moms! Male ducks are called drakes.
- A group of ducks is called a flock!
Here's to Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, and Daffy Duck!
Did you learn something? Tell us in the comments below.
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