Sunday, March 21, 2010

MFS - Strange But True - Creatures / Animals 12


The Shoebill a.k.a. the Whalehead

The Shoebill, Balaeniceps rex, also known as Whalehead, is a very large stork-like bird. It derives its name from its massive shoe-shaped bill.

The Shoebill is a very large bird. The adult is 115-150 cm (45-60 in) tall, 100-140 cm (40-55 in) long, 230-260 cm (91-125 in) across the wings and weighs 4 to 7 kg (8.8-15.5 lbs).The adult is mainly grey while the juveniles are browner. It lives in tropical east Africa in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia.
This species was only classified in the 19th century when some skins were brought to Europe. It was not until years later that live specimens reached the scientific community. However, the bird was known to both ancient Egyptians and Arabs. There are Egyptian images depicting the Shoebill, while the Arabs referred to the bird as abu markub, which means one with a shoe, a reference to the bird's distinctive bill.
Read more about this amazing bird on MFS,with 3 videoclips.


  1. I didn't know about this creature till now.
    It's very beautiful and if she would have otherwise beak shape I would say that it looks like eagle, right? :)

  2. bohzo Will

    What strange looking birds. I have never seen these before.



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