crocodile bird

crocodile bird

noun
an African courser, Pluvianus aegyptius, that often sits upon basking crocodiles and feeds on their insect parasites.

Origin:
1865–70

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World English Dictionary
crocodile bird
 
n
an African courser, Pluvianus aegyptius, that lives close to rivers and is thought to feed on insects parasitic on crocodiles

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

crocodile bird

(Pluvianus aegyptius; see ), shorebird belonging to the family Glareolidae (order Charadriiformes). The crocodile bird is a plover-like courser that derives its name from its frequent association with the Nile crocodile, from whose hide it picks parasites for food. By their cries, the birds also serve to warn crocodiles of approaching danger. They are also called black-backed coursers.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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