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Aves - Neognathae - Anseriformes - Anatidae - Branta - Branta leucopsis

Sternum (Breast Bone) of a Branta leucopsis (Barnacle Goose)


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Species Description
The Barnacle Goose is a small goose that breeds on Arctic islands in the North Atlantic. Unlike most waterfowl, the Barnacle Goose builds its nest on the edges of mountain cliffs. Because Barnacle Geese (like all waterfowl) do not bring food to their young, the goslings must jump from their nests to the ground. Their feathery down, small size and light weight tend to protect most of them from harm, but many goslings do die from the fall. They feed on grasses and coastal plants, and are found throughout northern Europe. The Barnacle Goose’s name comes from an early legend stating that Barnacle Geese were born of driftwood; they came fully formed from eggs that were stuck onto pieces of wood (much like barnacles) that washed ashore. Barnacle Geese were originally exempt from fasting day rules, since the prohibition only held for animals born of flesh; hatching from wood, the Barnacle Goose was seen as acceptable to eat.
Skeletal Elements Available

Sternum (Breast Bone)
External Links
Animal Diversity Web
Encyclopedia of Life
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