How Birds Got Their Beaks

When birds got their wings, they lost the clawed fingers wielded by their dinosaur relatives. But they evolved a new “finger”—in their face. And what a boon that has been. Agile beaks of all shapes and sizes, from the gulping gape of a pelican to the needle nose of a hummingbird, have enabled the 10,000 avian species to thrive from the arctic to the tropics, build intricate nests, and eat many different foods.

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