Shoebill's quite clearly get their name from the massive, shoe shaped beak sticking out of their face. The thing is huge and incredibly menacing! Long, broad and deep, with a nasty hook at the end so you really get the point. It reaches about 10 cm (4 in) across and 23 cm (9 in) long. Some say it's more like 30 cm (12 in), which would be very pleasing since that'd be a foot!
I'm sure you've figured out that the Shoebill ain't one for salad. They prey on fish, frogs, rodents and, as if investing for the future, reptiles like baby crocodiles. This occurs in the east African swamps and marshes they call home. They are particularly fond of the ones with papyrus.
The Shoebill is clearly a wading bird, and with a height of up to 150 centimetres (59 in) and wingspan as much as 260 centimetres (100 in), it's a big one. But they are so unique that there has long been dispute over where exactly it fits in the family tree. Maybe it's more like a stork, perhaps it's more pelican. Maybe it's somehow related to the Hamerkop, another wading bird with strange characteristics. Sure, throw all the weirdos together, that's what I do :P