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Animal Photo: Mallard Ducks Swim

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Mallard Duck

The Mallard, or Wild Duck (Anas platyrhynchos), is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia.

The male birds have a bright green or blue head, while the female's is light brown. The Mallard lives in wetlands, eats water plants, and is gregarious. The Mallard is the ancestor of most domestic ducks, and can interbreed with other species of genus Anas. Among close relatives of the Mallard this hybridisation can cause genetic dilution, which is contributing to the decline of rarer species of ducks.

The Mallard was one of the many bird species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae, and still bears the first binomial name it was given.

The Mallard is the ancestor of almost all of the varieties of domestic ducks, others being descended from the Muscovy Duck and American Black Duck. Ducks belong to the subfamily Anatinae of the waterfowl family Anatidae.

(Source: Wikipedia.org)

 

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