Limpkins are highly specialized feeders, meaning they focus on very few food items and have special adaptations which help them deal with their diet. The limpkin's primary prey is the apple snail, a large freshwater mollusk which occurs throughout the range of limp-kins. Limpkins search for apple snails in the muddy bottoms of shallow bodies of water, trying to find them either visually, or by prodding the mud with their long bills. They search for food in the open, as the cranes do. Once a limpkin finds a snail, it carries it to shallow water to cut it from its shell and eat it. Although adult limpkins never swallow snails whole, young limpkins do. Young limpkins are brought small snails by their parents and swallow them entire. Although apple snails form the bulk of their diet, limpkins may also eat mussels, insects, crayfish, small reptiles or frogs, and the seeds of some plants.
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