Zookeepers make prosthetic, 3-D-printed beak for an Abyssinian ground hornbill.

Watch a Majestic Bird Try Out His New Prosthetic Beak

Watch a Majestic Bird Try Out His New Prosthetic Beak

Slate in motion.
Dec. 21 2017 11:38 AM

A Hornbill Gets a New Beak

A 3-D prosthetic revives an old bird.

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In the video above, behold Karl, an Abyssinian ground hornbill that got a new start thanks to a 3-D-printed prosthetic beak.

Karl's beak was so worn that half of its lower side was missing, which made it difficult for him to eat. Since hornbills don't have teeth, they chow down by tossing their food back and swallowing it whole. This smart lad adapted by approaching food from the side, but zookeepers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo did him one better with the new beak.