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  1. #1
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Doubts about animal behaviour...

    The South African secretary bird preys on insects, snakes, tortoises and rats. Small prey are picked up in the bill and swallowed. Larger prey are first stamped to death and then eaten.

    I've got two questions about this text:

    1) Can the verb "swallow" be substituted with "to wash down" in this case, like in the case of a tablet or something similar?

    2) Could you explain the meaning of "to stamp to death"? Might it mean that the prey are hit (with feet or bill) untill they die?

    Thanks so much for your help.

  2. #2
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    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Doubts about animal behaviour...

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    The South African secretary bird preys on insects, snakes, tortoises and rats. Small prey are picked up in the bill and swallowed. Larger prey are first stamped to death and then eaten.

    I've got two questions about this text:

    1) Can the verb "swallow" be substituted with "to wash down" in this case, like in the case of a tablet or something similar? You need water handy to wash something down the esophagus. So, if the secretary is standing in or near a source of water, and it it habitually takes a mouthful of liquid before or while swallowing, I suppose you could replace swallow with wash down. But, in general, I would say no.

    2) Could you explain the meaning of "to stamp to death"? Might it mean that the prey are hit (with feet or bill) until they die? Yes

    Thanks so much for your help.
    John

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