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Latest Feather Stories

Galápagos Hawks Hand Down Lice Like Family Heirlooms
2014-08-11 03:08:49

By Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona Study provides some of the first evidence for the hypothesis of co-divergence between parasites and hosts acting as a major driver of biodiversity Say what you will about the parasitic lifestyle, but in the evolution of life on Earth, it's a winner. Given that about half of all known species are parasites, biologists have long hypothesized that the strategy of leeching off other organisms is a major driver of biodiversity. Studying populations...

Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus
2014-07-25 04:34:09

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online An international team of researchers has discovered the first-ever fossils belonging to a plant-eating dinosaur that contained both scales and featherlike structures, suggesting that plumage might have been present in a far greater number of species than previously believed. The fossils were discovered in Siberia and belong to a species identified as Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus, according to Dan Vergano of National Geographic. The...

Changyuraptor yangi
2014-07-16 05:02:09

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Newly-discovered fossils belonging to the largest four-winged dinosaur ever found could help shed new light on how the creatures were able to fly, according to research published online Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. The creature, which has been named Changyuraptor yangi, was discovered in 125-million-year-old sediments in the Liaoning Province of northeastern China, according to Michael Balter of Science. It was...

New Discovery Reveals Insight Into Feathers, Flight Of Archaeopteryx
2014-07-04 09:52:11

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Long believed to be one of the first-ever birds, a new Archaeopteryx species has provided additional evidence that feathers evolved long before creatures gained the ability to fly, according to research published online Wednesday in the journal Nature. Researchers from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the Bavarian State Collections of Paleontology and Geology in Munich, Germany found that the newest specimen of the...

New Fossil Evidence Shows Reproductive Changes During Transition From Dinosaurs To Birds
2014-05-30 13:14:34

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Over the course of millions of years, some dinosaurs evolved into the modern birds we see today – and that transition included the shift to a single-ovary reproductive system, according to a new report in the National Science Review journal. The study authors said this change was probably advantageous to flying animals that evolved toward lighter and lighter weights. "The most widely accepted hypothesis for the presence of a...

Dinosaur Claws Were Used For More Than Just Ripping Flesh: Study
2014-05-07 12:08:20

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The claws of Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor are probably best known for ripping through the flesh of hapless prey, but a new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B has found that this family of dinosaurs, known as theropods, probably used its claws for a variety of purposes. In the study, Stephan Lautenschlager, from Bristol University, examined the differences in claw shape among theropods and analyzed them based...

Researchers used brown and black chicken feathers for their study
2014-03-06 07:01:57

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online It has been proposed by paleontologists who study fossilized feathers that the shapes of certain microscopic structures found inside the feathers might tell us the color of the ancient birds. If these structures are melanosomes, that could be true. A new study, led by North Carolina State University, however, demonstrates that it is not yet possible to tell if the structures are melanosomes, or remnants of ancient bacteria. Found...

Microraptor Paraves Fossil
2014-02-24 05:41:20

University of Bristol The key characteristics of birds which allow them to fly – their wings and their small size – arose much earlier than previously thought, according to new research from the Universities of Bristol and Sheffield into the Paraves, the first birds and their closest dinosaurian relatives which lived 160 to 120 million years ago. Mark Puttick and colleagues investigated the rates of evolution of the two key characteristics that preceded flight: body size and...

Avian Evolution: How Raptor Limbs Became Bird Wings
2013-09-18 06:09:13

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists are certain that sometime around 150 million years ago birds originated from a group of small, meat-eating theropod dinosaurs called maniraptorans. According to recent studies conducted around the world, the maniraptorans were very bird-like, with feathers, hollow bones, small body sizes and high metabolic rates. What remains unclear is at what point the forelimbs evolved into wings, making it possible for the maniraptorans...

Birds Communicate Through Scents
2013-09-04 06:42:56

Michigan State University For most animals, scent is the instant messenger of choice for quickly exchanging personal profiles. Scientists, however, have long dismissed birds as odor-eschewing Luddites that don’t take advantage of scent-based communications. In a first-of-its-kind study, however, a Michigan State University researcher has demonstrated that birds do indeed communicate via scents, and that odor reliably predicts their reproductive success. The study appears in the...


Latest Feather Reference Libraries

Rosy Feather Star, Antedon bifida
2013-04-30 15:09:13

The rosy feather star (Antedon bifida) is a species of crinoid that can be found in northwestern waters of Europe. Its range extends from Portugal in the south to the Shetland Islands and includes Venezuela, West Africa, Algeria, and Tunisia. This species resides at an average depth of 650 feet, although it can occasionally be found in deeper waters. The rosy feather star has a disc shaped body that is concave and holds ten arms that resemble a fern. These arms can grow to be ten inches...

Rosy feather star, Antedon bifida
2013-04-27 07:35:37

The Rosy feather star is a species of starfish in the Antedonidae family. It is found in North West Europe along the coast. The specific area of the coast is between the Shetland Islands south to Portugal. There have been sightings in Algeria, Tunisia, West Africa and Venezuela. The Western and Eastern coasts of the British Isles has a climate that promotes the growth of the Antedon bifida. It grows between the low tide mark and 650 feet deeper. Clinging to rocks, seaweed and mollusks, it...

Giant Feather Duster Worm, Eudistylia polymorpha
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The Giant Feather Duster Worm (Eudistylia polymorpha) is a species of marine polychaete worm of the Sabellidae family. Its range extends along the western coast of North America, from Alaska to California. It is most commonly found in the intertidal zone in tide pools and in the neritic (coastal) zone at depths up to 1,375 feet. It is often found in groups along rocks, reefs, pilings, wharves and marinas. Its common name comes from the crown of tentacles extended when the animal is under...

66_3fd3cde3cf3ca71716da922ae6cd944e
2009-08-18 17:26:24

Caudipteryx, meaning "tail feather", is a genus of small theropod dinosaur that lived during the Aptian Age of the Early Cretaceous Period (124 million years ago). There are two species known, C. zoui (described 1998) and C. dongi. (described 2000). It was first discovered in 1997 in the Yixian Formation of the Sihetun area of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. The genus appears to have been fairly common, though isolated to the small region where it has been found. This region was also...

Red-shouldered Macaw, Diopsittaca nobilis
2009-06-04 22:50:45

The Red-shouldered Macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis), also known as the Noble Macaw, Long-wing Macaw, and Hahn's Macaw, is a species of parrot native to Venezuela, the Guianas, Bolivia, Brazil, and far south-eastern Peru. It is found mostly in tropical lowlands, savannah and swamplands. This is not considered an endangered species, although populations in the wild have declined due to habitat loss. Though not considered endangered, it is illegal to export wild caught birds of this species. The...

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Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'