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  • They Hide In Vegetation That’s Taller Than You on Random Terrifying Facts About Shoebill

    (#9) They Hide In Vegetation That’s Taller Than You

    Shoebills are notoriously picky about where they live, nesting only in extremely large, dense swampland. Essentially what that means is that these guys build their homes in an area you can only reach with a machete.

    Just imagine tromping through underbrush that reaches above your head only to accidentally stumble upon the nest or mating ground of one of these bad boys. It would not go well.

  • Thumb of Shoebill Chicks Will Take Each Other Out video

    (#1) Shoebill Chicks Will Take Each Other Out

    Shoebills are extremely shy creatures, so scientists and ornithologists have very little video footage of shoebills doing their thing. So, when one adventurous crew ventured into the territory of a shoebill, they were thrilled to find a nest with two hatchlings alone and untended.

    Of course, what happened next was horrific.

    In the nest were two chicks that had been born five days apart. As a result, one of the two chicks was noticeably larger than the other chick. The larger bird was not only favored by the parent, but it also viciously pecked at the smaller chick until the bird was driven from the nest to shrivel in the sun and pass away. Talk about a sibling rivalry.

  • They Remained Undetected Until The 1850s on Random Terrifying Facts About Shoebill

    (#11) They Remained Undetected Until The 1850s

    Ancient Arabs and Egyptians had a reverence for the shoebill that made its way into the art of both cultures. Beyond those initial sightings, however, the bird remained uncatalogued by many Western societies until midway through the 19th century. 

    This speaks to the bird’s natural ability to avoid contact with humankind. A species of stork that had a natural range of more than 2 million square kilometers managed to avoid thousands of ornithologists combing the area for new species.

  • Thumb of The Shoebill Stork Can Literally Stare You In The Eyes video

    (#5) The Shoebill Stork Can Literally Stare You In The Eyes

    Though not a very meaty bird (even the biggest of the species top out at 16 pounds), the shoebill stork is still extremely large. They routinely reach nearly five feet in height, and their wings can stretch to more than seven feet in width.

    Add to that physical stature the creature’s famous glassy stare, and you’ve concocted one intimidating stork.

  • Thumb of When It Does Make Noise, It Sounds Like A Machine Gun video

    (#7) When It Does Make Noise, It Sounds Like A Machine Gun

    When it’s time for the shoebill to get down with a member of the opposite sex, they track a potential mate to a specific spot and then make a resounding clapping noise with their bill, simultaneously attracting a mate and scaring the sh*t out of any small creatures in the vicinity.

    Once the kids get popped out, the parents only stick around long enough to make sure that one of their brood has the basics covered. At that point, Mom and Dad leave the chick to its own devices, taking off to parts unknown.

  • The Shoebill Does Something Awful To Its Prey on Random Terrifying Facts About Shoebill

    (#2) The Shoebill Does Something Awful To Its Prey

    That goofy-looking bill clapped onto the front of the shoebill’s face may look like a cruel joke of evolution, but it’s actually a lethal tool. Sure, it also looks like a shoe, a fact that has not been lost on any of the civilizations that have run across the beast. The Arabs called it Abu-Markhub, or “father of a slipper.” However, that bill is not to be trifled with.

    After taking its prey's body into its beak, the shoebill opens its bill just enough for its victim to poke its head out. Then, the shoebill clamps down again with its knife-edged beak and removes its prey's head before swallowing the rest.

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The shoebill has been regarded as the most terrifying bird in the world, although the cassowary may disagree. These majestic water birds live in the swamps of South Sudan, Uganda, and other tropical regions of East Africa, preying on their prey with their unique, instantly recognizable beaks. The shoebill looks lazy and stupid, but there are some scary facts about them that may ruin your perception.

The random tool collected 12 facts about shoebill birds that you may never know. The number of shoebills in the world is decreasing sharply, these iconic birds are threatened by many human factors.

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