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WILDLIFE

Iolo to the rescue


Iolo Williams offers his expertise to a reader’s puffin conundrum

by Webmaster, 8th July 2021

Iolo Williams offers his expertise on a reader’s puffin conundrum

Puffins are arguably one of Wales’ best loved creatures, famous for their comedy waddle and expressive faces. Reader, Geoff Smith sent in this interesting question to our resident wildlife expert and BBC presenter, Iolo Williams.

Dear Iolo, Could you please tell me how puffins can catch so many sand eels at a time and hold them all in their beaks?

Iolo replies: Puffins can hold so many small fish, such as sand-eels, in their beaks because they have a series of small, backward-pointing spines called denticles along the inside rim of the beak. The puffins use their tongue to hold the fish against these spines while they dive underwater in search of more prey.

If you want to see puffins in real life, huge flocks of them can be found at various sites all over the Welsh coast, most notably on the various islands that are dotted around the coastline. To find out more about where to see puffins and other wildlife, download the latest issue of Welsh Coastal Life, where Matt Pike discovers the beauty of Wales’ 50 off shore havens in our lead feature: www.walesandborders.com/ourmagazines

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