The flat beak of a duck is built to optimize eating in the environment it lives in (mostly water). The flat beak helps them to eat plants in the water. There are tiny ridges along the sides of the beak which make it easier to grip its food since most of what it eats is wet.
The shape of a bird’s beak is determined almost entirely by the kind of food they eat and how they obtain it. Ducks, like many water foul, are filter feeders, meaning they use their beaks to filter small particles of food from water or mud. For this reason, it is more practical for them to have broad, spacious beaks for scooping up mouthfuls of water and mud than to have, say, a pointy beak for digging or a hooked beak for tearing, as other birds do.
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