Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Up close and personal

Swans don't spend all day baring their teeth. It's easiest to see them when they are preening although preening means moving at a million miles an hour (minimum) and it is more than my limited photographic skills are up to. (But don't you get sick of those super crisp and clear shots that you see on the other nature blogs and websites, that leave nothing to the imagination? I do. Not that I'm envious or anything..)

I noticed the swan teeth last year and had the chance to photograph them today. The angle is from above as I'm not prepared to jump in the pond with camera and snorkel. However you get the idea. These are not real teeth, just serrated edges. My husband suggests a relic from the dinosaur era. I guess the serrations help for grinding grasses and reeds which swans eat quite a bit of. I have read the 'teeth' are used to help eat or catch little fish but I think that is garbage. I've spent hours swan gazing and there are mini fish and tadpoley things everywhere and never once did a swan make a move to catch one. I'm sure a few go down by default as swans drink all the time and I believe young swanlings would eat snails in the grass, but I think the serrations are for grinding the tough vego diet. I'm happy for you to make up your own mind.

The closed eyes seem standard while preening.


  1. I think you captured their serrations perfectly.

  2. Ta Louise. I'll have another try sometime. For now I'm back at work with a lot less time for nature rambles.