Animal Species:Pacific Black Duck

The Pacific Black Duck is one of the most versatile of the Australian ducks. It frequents all types of water, from isolated forest pools to tidal mudflats, and is found in all but the most arid regions of Australia.

Pacific Black Duck

Dick Whitford © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Pacific Black Duck

Size range

50 - 60 cm long

Distribution

Throughout Australia

Habitat

Freshwater, intertidal

Feeding and Diet

This duck is mainly vegetarian, feeding on seeds of aquatic plants. This diet is supplemented with small crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic insects. Food is obtained by 'dabbling', where the bird plunges its head and neck underwater and upends, raising its rear end vertically out of the water. Occasionally, food is sought on land in damp grassy areas.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The Pacific Black Duck is closely related to the Mallard, A. platyrhynchos, introduced into Australia from the Northern Hemisphere. The two species are very similar in habits and occupy the same niche in the two regions. The two species will interbreed in situations where Mallards have been released.

Classification

Species:
superciliosa
Genus:
Anas
Family:
Anatidae
Order:
Anseriformes
Class:
Aves
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?


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