Name: Alex S
What material are bird's beaks made up of?
Bird have beaks made primarily of a calcium compound. Much like your nails
and teeth. According to Pettingill's Ornithology Textbook (1970), the bird beak
which is correctly called the manible is an extention of the skull with a
modification of the boney material.
I believe they are made of a protein called keratin, which is the same
protein of which your finger nails are composed.
Peter Faletra Ph.D.
Office of Science
Department of Energy
Bird beaks have a base of bone, which remains with a complete skeleton, and
are covered with keratin, which gives the color and other details.
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Update: June 2012