Endangered aquatic bird attacks scuba divers in Galapagos Islands

Cormorants are aquatic diving birds found in many parts of the world. In the Galapagos Islands, these birds have evolved to become flightless. They are believed to be one of the world's rarest birds found only on the coast of Fernandina Island and Isabela Island. In 1999, researchers estimated that there were only 900 in existence. The birds had no predators and lost their ability to fly when a flight was not needed to escape other animals. Since humans have introduced dogs, rats, pigs, and other species, the flightless cormorant's numbers declined sharply. This cormorant has no fear of humans, which is typical of this species. It must have been believed that the divers represented a food source as it followed them and repeatedly dove, pecking at them and their equipment. The divers were amused by the behavior and felt no fear of the bird as it could not easily injure them. It is believed that the birds mistake the air hoses and other scuba equipment for eels or fish. This one is attracted by the camera as well as it tried to peck at or eat the camera. The hooked beak is visible, which is how the cormorant seizes and hangs onto its prey. It will only catch food that it can swallow whole. The cormorants can dive to impressive depths to catch fish, eels, and other marine animals. They use their powerful legs and webbed feet for propulsion. Surprisingly agile, they are capable hunters, and they have no trouble catching enough prey each day. Much of their time is spent basking in the sun and drying their feathers. This cormorant shows its diving ability as it leaves the surface to reach a group of divers on the bottom below quickly. Cormorants are brilliant birds, and they are known for their curiosity. The divers in this video will not soon forget such a bold and entertaining interaction with a wild animal.

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