The Tomial Tooth (Kārearea 162)

Uploaded 19 May 2018 — 1 favorite
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© Kurien Yohannan
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Photo Info
UploadedMay 19, 2018
TakenDecember 9, 2017
ModelCanon EOS 7D Mark II
Exposure1/800 sec at f/4
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length420 mm

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Photo license: © All rights reserved

The one feature that differentiates falcons from all other birds of prey is the Tomial Tooth - a sharp triangular-shaped ridge on the outer edges of the upper mandible. They use this to kill their prey quickly by biting their necks and severing the vertebrae.

Seen in this image is an adult female New Zealand falcon (Kārearea) doing just that to her prey (in this case a sparrow). Eventhough the sparrow was given to her dead by her mate, instinct kicks in and she goes for the neck to ensure that her prey is indeed dead before eating it, NZ…

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