Did you know shoebills swallow baby crocodiles whole? These huge birds stand up to five feet (1.5 m) tall and have an eight-foot (2.4 m) wingspan. Predators of aquatic animals, they love to catch and eat lungfish, eels, frogs, turtles, and baby crocs, swallowing them all whole.
These birds used to be called shoebill storks, then anatomical studies suggested they might be more closely related to pelicans than to storks. And after that, molecular studies showed that they are actually more closely related to herons.
Shoebills live in marshes of east Africa, where it is very warm. To cool themselves off, they have an interesting habit of... pooping on their own legs. When the liquid in the poop evaporates, this cools the blood flowing through the legs, which cools the bird's entire body.
This bird also wins the prize for having the most intense stare in the animal kingdom. It's like they are sizing you up, trying to decide if you are small enough to swallow whole.
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