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LOON

Family Gaviidae

      Loons are large aquatic birds whose wingspans can reach 4 feet.  Their family represents one of the most primitive branches from ancestral birds alive today—loonlike birds existed 70 million years ago before the extinction of the dinosaurs.  They are expert divers, being able to dive 250 feet and stay submerged for 40 seconds.  They can swim underwater where they hunt on aquatic vertebrates and insects. Their legs are positioned far back on their body and, as a result, they can barely walk.  They are monogamous and pair for life.  In recent times, loon populations have decreased. 

LOON LOON