Lustrous Bawcock
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Labiorynchidae
Genus: Laetocygnus
Species: L. auratus
Binomial name
Laetocygnus auratus

The lustrous bawcock (Laetocygnus auratus), also called the golden duck, is an anseriform, albeit a derived one. They are grazers, feeding on grass; however they can also feed on leaves, fruits, and flesh, however after the juvenile stage they are intolerable of large amounts of lactose, meaning they cannot feed on lots of dairy products. Standing at seven feet tall, they are fast sprinters; they could run faster than an average human. 


The edges of the beak are enlarged and form lips, and inside the lips is the beak, with a complex system of pecten. They can masticate by moving their upper jaws. There are two types of pecten, the broader one are called the molars, having to evolve to feed on grass, the molars are high crowned and are covered by hardy hydroxyapatite. The other type is called incisors, they are longer and are thinner, and grows forever; as a result they gnaw to regulate the length of the incisors. In addition, the molars also grow forever, but they regulate the length by feeding on fibrous material like grass. The crop releases enzymes which digest the food prior to entering the gut, and in both sexes, the crop releases a substance similar to cheese, called crop milk. It is regulated by the hormone luteotropin.

Perhaps the most specialized adaptation is the fact that the humerus head points upwards, meaning they hold their wings downwards, like a non-avian theropod. The fused metacarpals enforced with dermal scales, which is tinted with pigment. The feathers in the wings are more elongated and colorful. In addition, the ruff is also pronounced. The pygodyle is enlarged and heavy to stabilize the animal while sprinting and due to this, they can stand fully erect. Lamella is found in the feet of this species, it is used to improve grip since their primary manipulator is their feet, and the lamella is a remnant of their distant, arboreal ancestors.

The lustrous bawcock does display dimorphism between genders. The male is slightly larger and are more heavily built, and the male’s syrinx produces a deeper sound. The females have a thicker ruff and have more adipose tissue mostly found in their ruff and breast. Like swans, both sexes have a black rough bump on their beak, in this species however it is the basis of a horn. This bump is also hollow and connected to the nasal cavity, allowing the males to produce a nasal sound.


They are an amazing species, they entertain themselves by dancing, and this is also accompanied by a chorus of whistling, grunting and sounds. However, unlike other avifauna, they dance remarkably, if not identically to humans.


This species is not polygamous and they only perform these rituals for the sake of entertainment and competition. Coitus lasts only for a few minutes, and to avoid sperm loss, males evolved a long phallus derived from the cloacal walls; this phallus is associated with only reproduction. To create an erection they fill the phallus with lymph, and when flaccid it coils into the cloaca.

Incubation lasts for four months, and their young can run a few weeks after birth. Puberty occurs at the age of nine, and they reach sexual maturity at the age of fourteen. During puberty, their ruff and arm feathers start to develop more vibrant colors. Then, the pelt becomes from tawny to golden and the feathers beneath the wings become more colorful. 

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