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Latest Great Bustard Stories

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2011-02-08 11:07:58

Up until now it was unknown whether males of the great bustard (Otis tarda), an emblematic bird in Spain and endangered at a global level, transmit information on their weight, size, and age through their plumage. For the first time a study shows that the 'beards' and the design of the neck are "reliable" indicators of the weight and age of their bearers, and are used to both avoid fights with competitors and to attract females. "The heaviest males (best physical condition) make it known to...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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