Zoom on the beak of our parrots


Lisa Longo from Animal Académie enlightens us in a “Did you know that…”: The beak of our parrots is equipped with tactile organs.

All the little dots that you see in the photo opposite are receivers allow you to collect information on what they touch with their beaks. This makes up a big part of their sense of touch. These tactile corpuscles are sometimes visible to the naked eye and sometimes covered with keratin. In many parrots, these small tactile organs are then hidden under the keratin and you would eventually have to scratch the beak to see them.

Keratin is also the major component of the beak. Indeed, the beak is, among other things, made of bone and then covered with keratin on its whole. The keratin is then the part that wears out, in particular on the beak, the tip of the upper jaw as well as on the ends of the lower mandible.


Animal Académie, February 19, 2021, Did you know that…?, https://www.facebook.com/AnimalAcademie/posts/4016410758416062, accessed 03/07/21

Zoé P. Demery, Jackie Chappell, Graham R. Martin, April 2011, Vision, touch and object manipulation in Senegal parrots Poicephalus senegalus, https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2011.0374, accessed 03/07/21


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