Hold your thumb over the bill and temporarily block it from view, and the bird looks long, sleek, and ternlike. Expose the bill, and the skimmer takes on an undeniably odd and amusing look. It's as if its beak is deformed. But it isn't - the skimmer offers evidence of the miraculous possibilities wrought by fits and spurts of evolution; how forces of selection can shape such strange-looking features that are so beautifully functional.
Fish. In an amazing show of aeronautics, reaction time, and coordination, the skimmer sluices along, hoping to come into contact with a minnow or other small aquatic animal. When contact is made, it snaps that powerful thick bill shut in a nanosecond and secures a meal.
Pretty amazing stuff.