Limpkin: Aramidae - Physical Characteristics
Limpkins are medium-sized gruiform (member of the order Gruiformes) species that have long legs with spread toes, a long, downward-curving bills, and rounded wings and tails. Limpkin bills curve slightly to the right at the tip, a feature that helps them extract its primary prey item, the apple snail, from its shell. There is also an unusual, small gap in the bill which appears to help limpkins carry and manipulate apple snails. Finally, the tip of the upper bill is sharpened and used to cut snails from their shells. Limpkins are primarily dark brown in color although there are white spots on the neck, breast, and the outside surface of the wings. Limpkins are about 26 inches (66 centimeters) in length and can weigh up to 2.4 pounds (1.1 kilograms). They have a wingspan of approximately 40 inches (102 centimeters). Male and female limpkins are generally similar in size and coloration.