Fossil Feather

Archaeopteryx Feather Challenge

Archaeopteryx feather challenge reported in ScienceDaily 4 February 2019 and Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37343-7. An isolated fossil feather found in limestone from Solnhofen Germany has long been considered to be from the famous Archaeopteryx, whose fossils are also found in the same rock layer.  The original specimen consists of a black film on pale rock, with […]

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Peacock Peahen

Good Vibrations for Peafowl

Good vibrations for peafowl described in Science (AAAS) News, and ScienceDaily 28 November and PLoS ONE 28 November 2018 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207247. When peacocks display their splendid iridescent tail feathers (called trains) to a peahen they also shake them – a behaviour known as train rattling. As well as making an audible rattling sound, this behaviour […]

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Flightless Rail

Smallest island dwelling flightless bird got there how?

Smallest island dwelling flightless bird got there how?  According to ScienceDaily 1 November 2018 and Science Alert 7 November 2018 and Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.007, the world’s smallest flightless bird lives on a small island in the South Atlantic named Inaccessible Island. Not surprisingly it has been named the Inaccessible Island Rail. Since […]

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Bird Singing

Bird Voice Box is Unique

Bird voice box is unique, according to ScienceDaily 24 September 2018 and Science (AAAS) News 5 October and PNAS published online 24 September 2018, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1804586115. Reptiles, amphibians and mammals produce sounds in the larynx – a structure in the throat at the top of the trachea (windpipe), but bird sounds are produced in a […]

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Brown Eared Bulbul

Birds Disperse Stick Insects

Birds disperse stick insects, according to reports in Science News and ScienceDaily 28 May 2018, and Ecology, 29 May 2018, doi: 10.1002/ecy.2230. Stick insects are found throughout the world and scientists have wondered how they could have spread to land masses that are separated by long distances. Stick insects are large and don’t fly so […]

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Birds

“Bird Brain” Revision Needed

“Bird brain” revision needed according to an article in Outside JEB 9 May 2018 doi:10.1242/jeb.170001 and Current Biology doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.036, 5 March 2018. Birds have small brains without a cerebral cortex, the folded multilayered outer region of mammal brains that supposedly makes mammals smarter than other creatures.  Thus, the epithet “bird-brain” is used to insult someone’s […]

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Bird's Nest Eggs

Nanotechnology Cracks Eggshell Problem

Nanotechnology cracks eggshell problem, according to ScienceDaily 30 March 2018, ABC News 31 March 2018 and Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar3219, 30 March 2018. Biologists and engineers have studied the microscopic structure of chicken eggshells to work out how such shells are strong enough to avoid being broken while an embryonic bird develops inside, but yet […]

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Feathered Dinos Had Ticks

Feathered dinos had ticks, claim scientists in articles in, National Geographic 12 December 2017, BBC News and ScienceDaily 13 December 2017, and Nature Communications doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01550-z published online 12 December 2017. An international team of researchers from Spain, USA and UK have found three species of ticks preserved in amber from Burma. The amber is dated […]

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Galapagos Finches Speciate

Galapagos finches speciate, according to reports in BBC News and ScienceDaily 24 November 2017, and Science doi: 10.1126/science.aao4593, 23 November 2017. A group of scientists from Sweden and USA claim to have observed a new species of finch evolve on the Galapagos Island of Daphne Major. In 1981 a male Large Cactus Finch Geospiza conirostris […]

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Blue Bugerigar

Blue Aussie Budgerigar Gene

Blue Aussie budgerigar gene found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 5 October 2017 and Cell, doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.08.016, 5 October 2017. Budgerigars are small Australian parrots that are commonly kept as pets. In the wild they are mostly green with a yellow head and throat, but a variant with a blue body […]

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