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  • Strategy

Beak holds fish: puffin


Atlantic Puffin Latrabjarg Iceland 08 / Aconcagua / LicenseGFDL - Gnu Free Document License

The beak of a puffin can carry many fish at once because the bird uses its tongue to hold the fish against serrations on the upper mandible.

"These puffins sport beaks that look as if they have been painted for a carnival…It is able to carry as many as 20 fish in its beak by holding them with its tongue against the serrated upper mandible." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:150)
About the inspiring organism
Med_lundi2 Atlantic Puffin
Fratercula arctica (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common name: Atlantic puffin

Habitat(s): Grassland, Marine Coastal/Supratidal, Marine Intertidal, Marine Neritic, Marine Oceanic, Rocky Areas
Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Threat Categories LONG_LC IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Adding texture to slippery objects to reduce breakage, business metaphor for how encouraging a slight modification or innovation could enhance productivity and set the business apart from one-fish competitors.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Design, business

Foy S; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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