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crocodile bird

an African courser, Pluvianus aegyptius, that often sits upon basking crocodiles and feeds on their insect parasites.
1865-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for crocodile bird

crocodile bird

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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for 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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