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(referring to the throat pouch)
Marabou storks are large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with a long, bare throat sac.
Approximately 150 cm (59 in.)
Up to 9 kg (20 lb)
Feeds on insects, baby crocodiles, flamingos, small mammals, fish and carrion
Up to 20 years in zoos; wild life span not known
Throughout Africa into some parts of Asia and Europe
Found in marshes, savannas and fields
In addition to hollow leg bones, marabou storks have hollow toe bones. In such a large bird, this is an important adaptation for flight.
Marabou storks are attracted to grass fires. They march in front of the advancing fire grabbing animals that are fleeing.
The pouch on their throat is not used for food storage; it is more likely used in courtship.
Marabous get much of their food through scavenging. They are attracted to lion kills, domestic stockyards, plowed fields, and rubbish piles.
Marabous nest in the dry season when carrion and evaporating pools that contain the natural prey necessary to raise their young are available.
These storks need to eat more than 700 g (1.6 lbs) of food a day.
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
Marabous, as well as many other storks and vultures, consume parts of rotting carcasses. They also break through thick hides of large, deceased mammals with their powerful beak. This helps to speed up the decomposition process and allows for other weaker scavengers to have access to the carcass. In addition, they are important predators, frequently seen standing on termite mounds ingesting swarming insects. In turn, these birds themselves are prey for large carnivores.
The Association of American Zoos and Aquariums recognizes Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as the first to successfully breed this species.
Birds - Their Latin Names Explained
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Perrins, Dr. Christopher.
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Perrins, Dr. Christopher M. And Dr. Alex L.A. Middleton, eds.
The Encyclopedia of Birds
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Perrins, Dr. Christopher M.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds: The Definitive Reference to Birds of the World
. New York: Prentice Hall Press. 1990.