Published: 26 Jan 2016 | Last Updated: 26 Jan 2016 15:45:26

Scientists from The Royal Veterinary College and Royal Holloway, University of London, have discovered the remarkable force and speed generated by the snake-hunting Secretary Bird.

The team, including Dr Monica Daley from the Structure and Motion group, measured the force and speed of a male Secretary Bird’s kick. The bird, called Madeleine, is housed at the Hawk Conservancy Trust, an awarding winning conservation charity, where it has been trained to attack a rubber snake, snakes being one of the bird’s favourite prey in the wild.

Click here for the full RVC press release including slow-motion footage of Madeleine kicking.

Click here to read the paper published in Current Biology entitled The fast and forceful kicking strike of the secretary bird (free until 16th March 2016)

And finally, click here for a great article on Madeleine by Jonathan Webb at the BBC Science and Environment website

Secretary bird in the wild
Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius), picture taken at Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

 

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