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Ingestion in Birds

  1. Gart Zweers,
  2. Herman Berkhoudt

Published Online: 30 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001836



How to Cite

Zweers, G. and Berkhoudt, H. 2001. Ingestion in Birds. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAY 2001


Ingestion of food and water in birds is mediated by an extremely diverse trophic system which traces back upon only two modifications of one single anatomical design, i.e. a kinetic, beaked skull. The mechanics of ingestion are characterized by lower jaw depression linked to a movable upper jaw which is highly integrated with tongue and larynx motion – though often compromised by functional demands from drinking and vocalization – controlled primarily by touch and taste.


  • cranial kinesis;
  • pecking pattern;
  • trophic evolution