|Average length||10-12 in. long|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Universe||The Future Is Wild|
The spink is a burrowing bird that inhabits the dry, cold, North American deserts 5 million years in the future, and grows to 10-12 inches long.
The ancestor of the spink is the quail: a type of game bird that spends most of its time on the ground. The spink looks like the extinct Dicynodont, with a rounded body and a small beak. Its tail feathers and bird-like feet betray its ancestry. Spinks communicate by squeaks, warbles, and little songs. Their wings are reduced to spade-like forelimbs, sheathed in keratin. The spink is a colonial bird, dwelling in colonies like those of mole rats and ants. Queen spinks sit on eggs, most of which would hatch into new workers. Spinks eat tubers and create intricate tunnel systems just to find them. However, spinks are helpless on the desert surface, where they become prey for deathgleaners.
Spinks seem to show sexual dimorphism, with females being brown, while males are black and white patterned. Hatchlings are cared by nurse spinks. Drone spinks (that mate and start new colonies) head to the surface where the males display themselves, but instead of mating with the males near them the females instinctively go to a different group of males. This prevents inbreeding. When they have found a mate the two spinks burrow into the ground to start new colonies.