At the University of York, one duck towers above all the rest.Long Boi, a mallard/Indian Runner duck hybrid, stands upright at 70 centimeters tall (about 28 inches), dwarfing his mallard friends, who grow on average to be about 24 inches in length.
Long Boi’s origins are unknown, but the duck with perfect posture has become a campus celebrity.
Since 2019, he has had an Instagram account maintained by university students, as well as a line of items for fans who wish to express their support with a Long Boi T-shirt, mug, or sticker. According to one Instagram caption, the beautiful duck is usually “Feeling heckin’ löngthy.”
But his height isn’t the only thing that sets Long Boi apart from his duck friends.
“He is easy to spot due to his distinctive Indian Runner shape and size; long neck, tall posture and characteristic run,” Natalia Kubala writes in a paper discussing Long Boi’s biological advantages. “Unlike most ducks that move around by waddling, as the name would suggest, the Indian Runners run. They take bigger steps meaning they can move a lot faster than some other species, which is called a ‘quickstep.’”
Long Boi spends his days on campus grazing by the lake, combing his feathers, relaxing in the shade, and feeding on seed plucked from people’s hands.
Long Boi recently went viral, when one Twitter user claimed that Long Boi was the “tallest mallard duck to have ever lived,” and stood over 1 meter tall (3.5 feet). In fact, he’s perfectly average for an Indian Runner duck, who can range from 26 to 32 inches.
While that is quite an exaggeration, Long Boi still deserves recognition for being such a unique duck who has brought joy to students for years.