The beak, bill, or rostrum is an external anatomical structure of birds that is used for eating and for grooming, manipulating objects, killing prey, fighting, probing for food, courtship and feeding young. The terms beak and rostrum are also used to refer to a similar mouth part in some Ornithischian dinosaurs, monotremes, cephalopods (see Cephalopod beak), cetaceans, billfishes, pufferfishes, turtles, Anuran tadpoles and sirens.
Although beaks vary significantly in size, shape, color and texture, they share a similar underlying structure. Two bony projections—the upper and lower mandibles—are covered with a thin keratinized layer of epidermis known as the rhamphotheca. In most species, two holes known as nares lead to the respiratory system.
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