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Latest Feather Stories

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2009-06-10 09:47:06

Smithsonian Institution scientists say the birds that struck a plane in New York, forcing it into the Hudson River in January, were migratory Canada geese. The researchers said they examined the feather remains from the Jan. 15 US Airways Flight 1549 bird strike and determined the geese were from a migratory, rather than resident, population. Scientists in the Feather Identification Laboratory at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History said they used molecular genetic techniques...

2009-06-08 11:53:22

Data is crucial to minimizing birdstrikes, researchers sayUsing forensic data from feather remains, scientists have identified the birds that caused the Jan. 15 airline crash into the Hudson River as migratory Canada geese. The study, published online in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, will help managers better assess how to prevent such strikes in the future.Led by Peter Marra of the Smithsonian National Zoo's Migratory Bird Center, the researchers applied DNA...

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2009-04-15 14:10:16

Study says red carotenoids that give the Common Crossbill its red coloration are produced in the liver, not the skin Where do birds get their red feathers from? According to Esther del Val, from the National History Museum in Barcelona, Spain, and her team, the red carotenoids that give the common crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) its red coloration are produced in the liver, not the skin, as previously thought. Their findings, published online in Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften, have...

2009-04-13 15:37:59

A Chinese wedding dress factory said eight workers spent 40 days creating a $1.5 million dress from 2,009 peacock feathers. The factory in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, said the dress also includes a bodice featuring brocade and Suzhou embroidery, the Daily Mail reported Monday. Male peacocks each shed an average 200 feathers during an average year, meaning the makers of the dress would have needed to collect dropped feathers from more than 10 birds for a year to gather enough for the gown, the...

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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2009-03-19 07:15:00

Scientists have discovered that a small dinosaur which lived 100 million years ago in northeastern China was covered with course, hairlike fuzz, suggesting that feathers may have evolved much earlier than previously believed.  Although feathers and so-called "dinofuzz" have been previously identified in theropods, two-legged carnivores that are widely believed to be the ancestors of modern birds, the Chinese creature is only remotely related to theropods, and the hollow threads of...

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2009-01-26 07:25:00

The top bird experts in the world are trying to identify what type of bird took down US Airways Flight 1549, which crashed in the Hudson River. Pieces of the wreckage are now in the hands of top investigators. The black boxes went to the National Transportation Safety Board, the engines to the manufacturer's experts, and a bird feather to a Smithsonian museum. Last year, a staff of four took in samples for 4,600 bird-plane collisions at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington....

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2008-07-09 12:10:00

Scientists believe they have gained new insights into determining the colors of 100 million-year-old fossilized plumage from dinosaurs. Researchers were able to determine the colors of ancient feathers found in Brazil displayed by "striking" bands of black and white, they reported in the journal Biology Letters. Before now, fossil experts were left with only a guess at the various colors exhibited by ancient birds and some dinosaurs. "It solves a conundrum," explained Professor Mike Benton...

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2008-06-27 06:05:00

Researchers on Thursday said the largest study of bird genetics in history has uncovered some startling facts that could ruffle a few feathers in the avian evolutionary tree. The study found falcons share many similarities to hawks and eagles, but they are not as closely related as previously thought. Even vibrant hummingbirds, which buzz around during daytime, evolved from a drab-looking nocturnal bird called a nightjar. Researchers say even parrots and songbirds are closer cousins than...

2008-06-17 03:00:15

By Milius, Susan Iridescence could be pretty meaningful-or maybe just pretty Believe it or not, science has barely begun to fathom the peacock's tail. Subtle as a pink tuxedo, one mightthink. Bigflashything. Peahens love it. What's not to understand. Roslyn Dakin, though, has plenty of questions. There's the matter of choreography. Already this year she has left Queen's University in Kingston, Canada, to visit peacocks (the birds) in Los Angeles and New York. She has spent weeks...


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...

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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
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.