One duck stands out among the others at York University.
A hybrid mallard/Indian Runner duck named Long Boi stands erect at 70 centimeters (about 28 inches) tall, dwarfing his mallard companions, who typically reach lengths of around 24 inches.
While Long Boi’s origins remain a mystery, the duck with impeccable posture has become a celebrity on campus.
He has an Instagram account, run by university students since 2019, and a line of merchandise for those who want to show their love with a Long Boi T-shirt, mug or sticker. The majestic duck is always “Feeling heckin’ löngthy,” according to one caption on Instagram.
Just learned of the existence of Long boi, a comically long duck residing at the University of York, UK. Definitely the most exciting thing to hit campus since I spent my junior year abroad there! pic.twitter.com/rzvz3YISDH
— Mark Yarm (@markyarm) April 29, 2021
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.’”
Since Long Boi is trending, here's me feeding him last term!#longboi pic.twitter.com/WUItKyIza9
— Chloe 💜 (@chloe_jane_w) April 29, 2021
Long Boi hangs around with the other campus waterfowl, grazes near the lake, grooms his feathers, naps in the shade, and eats seed straight from people’s hands.
One Twitter user recently made the claim that Long Boi was the “tallest mallard duck to have ever lived” and that he was over one meter tall, which caused Long Boi to become viral (3.5 feet). He really fits the description of an Indian Runner duck, whose size may vary from 26 to 32 inches, flawlessly.
Even if that is a significant exaggeration, Long Boi deserves praise for being such a special duck who has delighted students for years.