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Latest Bird anatomy Stories

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2009-07-09 07:46:42

Catching adult eagles for research is a difficult task, so scientists at Purdue University say they are using eagle feathers to learn more about the birds. Many birds are small, easy to catch and abundant, Associate Professor Andrew DeWoody, who is leading the study, said. With eagles, the effort can be 100 to 1,000 times greater than catching chickadees. Not only do eagles, with their sharp talons and beaks, pose a physical threat to the scientists, but the birds can badly injure themselves...

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2009-07-06 14:35:00

Catching adult eagles for research purposes is no easy task, but a Purdue University researcher has found a way around the problem, and, in the process, gathered even more information about the birds without ever laying a hand on one."Many birds are small, easy to catch and abundant," said Andrew DeWoody, associate professor of forestry and natural resources. "With eagles, the effort can be 100 to 1,000 times greater than catching chickadees."Eagles can be hard to find, they often require...

2009-06-16 07:34:03

Why aren't birds larger? Fifteen-kilogram swans hold the current upper size record for flying birds, although the extinct Argentavis of the Miocene Epoch in Argentina is estimated to have weighed 70 kilograms, the size of an average human. In a forthcoming article in PLoS Biology, Sievert Rohwer, and his colleagues at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington, provide evidence that maximum body size in birds is constrained by the amount of time it takes to replace the flight feathers...

2009-04-03 13:54:41

Some of the brightest colors in nature are created by tiny nanostructures with a structure similar to beer foam or a sponge, according to Yale University researchers.Most colors in nature"”from the color of our skin to the green of trees"”are produced by pigments. But the bright blue feathers found in many birds, such as Bluebirds and Blue Jays, are instead produced by nanostructures. Under an electron microscope, these structures look like sponges with air bubbles.Now an...

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2009-03-12 13:30:00

Experiments show that hummingbirds suffer few energy costs when they grow long tails The long tails sported by many male birds in the tropics look like they're a drag to carry around and a distinct disadvantage when fleeing predators, but experiments by University of California, Berkeley, biologists shows that they exact only a minimal cost in speed or energy "“ at least in hummingbirds. "We estimate that having a long tail increases a bird's daily metabolic costs by 1 to 3 percent,...

2008-02-01 16:39:10

The chirps and beeps of hummingbirds at times come from their tails. Male Anna's hummingbirds — the West Coast's most common hummingbird — perform spectacular dive-bomber displays for females during breeding season, with their tail feathers vibrating like a reed in a clarinet as a result to make the sounds, scientists explained. "The Anna's hummingbird is the only hummingbird for which we know all the details, but there are a number of other species with similarly...

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2008-01-30 12:50:39

The source of the noise which the Anna's hummingbird emits has been a long-lived topic of debate among ornithologists.  This particular species of hummingbird, which is native to the West Coast of the United States, makes a loud, brief chirp when he dives to impress female hummingbirds and entice them into mating. Christopher Clark and Teresa Feo of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California at Berkely decided to set up cameras and watch the hummingbird to find the...

2005-08-24 16:41:20

GAINESVILLE, Fla. "” The military's next generation of airborne drones won't be just small and silent "“ they'll also dive between buildings, zoom under overpasses and land on apartment balconies. At least, that's what University of Florida engineers are working toward. Funded by the U.S. Air Force and NASA, UF aerospace engineers have built prototypes of 6-inch- to 2-foot- drones capable of squeezing in and out of tight spots in cities "” like tiny urban stunt planes. Their...

2005-08-16 14:57:14

New Haven, Conn. -- Biologists testing a mathematical model of the mechanism birds use to control the growth of complex feathers found that plumed feather structures involve the coordination of at least two genes that activate and that inhibit barb growth. "Understanding these mechanisms of feather growth gives a whole new perspective on the unique beauty of feathers," said Richard Prum, senior author on the study. Prum is the William Robertson Coe Professor of Ornithology, and Curator of...

2005-08-10 16:15:00

MADISON - Feathers are the essence of birds. Without them, birds could not fly or attract mates. But how exactly do feathers form molecularly? Experimentally testing one current hypothesis, developmental biologists at University of Wisconsin Medical School believe they now have the answer. In a previous study, UW anatomy professor John F. Fallon and his team showed that Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (Bmp2) must be expressed in order to produce barb ridges, which are...


Word of the Day
bodacious
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'
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