Why is it that bears, birds and other animals can eat fish without getting the bone stuck in their throat, but when humans do it and the bone gets stuck, it becomes an emergency ?

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Why is it that bears, birds and other animals can eat fish without getting the bone stuck in their throat, but when humans do it and the bone gets stuck, it becomes an emergency ?

In: Biology

Quite a few birds only eat fish small enough to swallow whole. They do take care to swallow the fish head-first, as fins and other projections can be very pokey going the other way.

Some species of bear that feed on salmon only eat the skin, which is loaded with fat. In more spare times they may also eat the flesh, which isn’t as fatty.

That said, there are probably plenty of instances of fish-eating animals seriously injuring themselves, as JerseyWiseguy suggests.

There’s some good answers here I will add that the human upper airway (oropharynx) has evolved greatly for speech, but this has made us more prone to choking. Apparently speech confers enough of an evolutionary advantage to be beneficial, but it does have significant drawbacks such as our choking risk.

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Not really. Lot of island cities/countries teach kids or culturally just swall big lumps of rice or bread to dislodge the bone. It happens a lot more than you think and is not deadly. If it were Americans would’ve banned whole fishes like they banned kinder surprises.

Bears actually [don’t usually bother to eat the whole salmon](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0dabXAy7uA), normally eating the fat rich skin, eggs, and brain and discarding the rest since during spawning season it would take less effort to catch another salmon than trying to eat the flesh around the bones.

You wouldn’t eat apple cores if there were more apples on the tree.