Birds Roosting

Dinosaurs Roost Like Birds

Dinosaurs roost like birds, according articles in ScienceDaily 24 August 2017 and Nature news 25 August 2017. Greg Funston, a palaeontologist at the University of Alberta, Canada, and colleagues have studied three dinosaurs embedded together in one block of rock from Mongolia, dated as 70 million years old. The dinosaurs have been identified as a […]

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Swift Wing Secrets

Swift wing secrets revealed, according to reports in ScienceNOW and news@nature 25 April 2007. Swifts are small, migratory birds that spend most of their lives in the air. They can eat, mate and sleep whilst flying, changing, or “morphing” their wing shape according to the speed and agility required. A group of scientists led by […]

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Sweet Smelling Birds’ Nests

Sweet smelling birds’ nests keep chicks healthy, according to a report in Nature Science Update 22 July 2002. French ecologists studied blue tits on the island of Corsica and found they gather aromatic plants such as lavender, mint, yarrow and other scented herbs for their nests and regularly replenish them as they lose their fragrance. […]

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Spring Powered Ostriches Beat Humans

Spring powered ostriches beat humans according to articles in ABC News in Science 27 October 2010 and BBC Earth News 28 October 2010. A team of researchers led by Jonas Rubenson, of the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia have compared how humans and ostriches run to see how much […]

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Sound Engineering for Birds

Sound engineering for the birds reported in New Scientist, 12 January 2002, p12. Scientists from the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Comparative Etholgy in Vienna recorded the songs of different species of Venezuelan Ant-birds and played them back at different heights above ground. They measured how fast the song faded and how well it could be […]

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Seed Germination Problem

Seed germination problem solved reports New Scientist 12 June 2004, p17. Scientists who have been trying to propagate the Javan ash tree, a rare rainforest tree from northern Australia and southeast Asia, have found the secret of success – a cassowary’s digestive system. Cassowaries are large flightless birds that live in the rainforests where they […]

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Seagulls Inspire Spy Planes

Seagulls inspire spy planes, according to an article in BBC News, 27 August 2005. Aerospace engineer Rick Lind and a team of researchers at the University of Florida are developing small unmanned aircraft that can manoeuvre through urban environments where they must avoid numerous obstacles, such as poles and trees, and fly through confined spaces […]

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Rapid Evolution of Finches

Rapid evolution of finches observed, claims evolutionary biologist David Reznick of the University of California, Riverside, commenting on a study of finch adaptation reported in Science, vol. 295, p25, 11 Jan 2002. Ecologists at Auburn University Alabama, studied two populations of house finches that had recently moved into new habitats. One group of birds moved […]

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Putting Feet in Mud

Putting feet in mud shows “dinosaurs and birds are different.” A study reported in Nature vol. 399, pp103-104, 141-144 comparing fossil dinosaur footprints with those produced by present day birds running through mud, showed that birds run by moving their knees, with little movement of the hip and ankle and keep their ankles off the […]

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Problem Solving Kiwi Parrots

Problem solving Kiwi parrots reported in New Scientist 14 August 2010, p18 and Animal Cognition online doi: 10.1007/s10071-010-0342-9. Kea parrots are a New Zealand bird with a well-earned reputation as aggressive inquisitive thieves. A group of scientists led by Hiromitsu Miyata of Kyoto University trained Keas to obtain food by removing a metal rod from […]

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