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African Openbill Stork

Anastomus lamelligerus at the San Diego Zoo
Meet yet another cool animal that I encountered on vacation... albeit one that has significantly less written about it.

This is the African Openbill Stork, a species that can be found throughout the wetlands of the Sub-Saharan Africa in resident populations.

Though the dude in my picture is playing with a dead mouse, these large birds most commonly feed on snails and various bivalves in the water. They have special beaks that let them sever the snail shell muscles to get to the meat. Other critters can take longer to kill.

African Openbill Storks live in colonies that are comprised of several dozen breeding pairs. These pairs are monogamous and share nest-building, incubating, and chick rearing duties.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Southern and Central Africa
Size : Length up to 3.2ft (1m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Ciconiiformes
Family : Ciconiidae -- Genus : Anastomus -- Species : A. lamelligerus


  1. Hi! I'm new to your site-- I came to it after googling pictures of crowned eagles. So far I've been through like 13 pages of your site and I just want to say, well done! You have a really interesting, informative blog going, and I wish more people would comment and say how awesome it is! I would consider myself an animal dork and am a wildlife rehabilitator by trade, so I see a lot in my day-to-day. Sometimes you can get desensitized (if that's the right word) to how awesome life is if you see it all the time, so it was wonderful taking an hour or two to learn about things I had never seen or heard of before... and I love how you don't discount the "ordinary" and include things like eastern cottontails and aphids. Great site :) keep up the good work!

  2. PS Also, thank you for the book recommendations, I've definitely got a hefty reading list going now!

  3. Haha, no problem. I've gotten a bit behind on adding new books, but there shall be more soon!


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