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Latest Oology Stories

2010-02-10 09:40:02

Gene variation is the reason that some great tit populations are more curious than others In 2007, researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology found a gene related to individual variation in exploratory behavior in great tits. Birds with a certain variant of this so-called "dopamine receptor D4 gene" (DRD4 gene) showed stronger novelty seeking and exploration behavior than individuals with other variants. This association was originally tested and found in a lab-raised group of...

2009-09-02 23:55:00

Reptiles are not known to be the most social of creatures. But when it comes to laying eggs, female reptiles can be remarkably communal, often laying their eggs in the nests of other females. New research in the September issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology suggests that this curiously out-of-character behavior is far more common in reptiles than was previously thought. Dr. J. Sean Doody (The Australian National University) and colleagues, Drs. Steve Freedberg and J. Scott Keogh,...

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2008-12-09 09:32:11

Why do some species of birds lay only one egg in their nest, while others lay 10 or more? A global study of the wide variation among birds in this trait, known as the "clutch size," now provides biologists with some answers. The study, published in the current issue of the journal PLoS Biology, combined data on the clutch sizes of 5,290 species of birds with information on the biology and environment of each of these species. "With this approach, we were able to explain a major proportion of...

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2008-07-15 10:30:00

It's not always easy spotting the cuckoo in the nest. But if you don't, you pay a high price raising someone else's chick. How hosts distinguish impostor eggs from their own has long puzzled scientists. The problem remained largely unsolved while looking at it through our own eyes. It was only when people started thinking from the birds' perspective that they began to understand how hosts recognise a cuckoo egg in the nest. Marcel Honza from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic...

2008-06-27 12:02:21

By Jeremy Manier and Tim De Chant, Chicago Tribune Jun. 27--When a falcon swoops from the sky to seize its fleeing prey, no one would mistake the sleek predator for a gaudy parrot. Yet the secret kinship of falcons and parrots is one of many surprises in a landmark genetic study of 169 bird species being published by Field Museum researchers. The lovely birds we see each day may never look quite the same again. One likely consequence of the study in Friday's edition of the journal...

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2008-05-07 11:01:33

Study says social context affects the sexes differently Male seagulls may be more vulnerable to their environment during embryonic development than females, according to Maria Bogdanova and Ruedi Nager from the University of Glasgow in the UK. Until now, the sex differences in developmental rate and susceptibility to unfavorable conditions during the embryonic stage in birds have received little attention. The paper has just been published in Springer's journal, Behavioral Ecology and...

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2008-03-12 12:35:00

Competing against older brothers and sisters can be tough work, as any youngest child will tell you.But new research from a biologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that when it comes to some birds, you should reserve any underdog sympathies for the first born "“ or rather, first laid "“ siblings as well.The finding, published in the March 12 issue of PLoS ONE, runs somewhat counter to common wisdom, which holds that baby birds that are laid before their...

2005-09-07 16:17:11

Birds' eggs are unique in their diverse pigmentation. This diversity is greatest amongst perching birds (order Passeriformes: 60% of all bird species), which include many familiar species including tits and warblers. Despite intense interest, the purpose, in most species, of these patterns was unknown. Most passerines lay eggs speckled with reddish protoporphyrin spots forming a ring around the egg's blunt end, on an otherwise unpigmented shell. Evidence in a paper by Gosler, Higham &...


Latest Oology Reference Libraries

Ornithology
2013-10-09 12:32:30

Ornithology, a branch of zoology, is the study of birds. The term ornithology is derived from the ancient Greek words for bird and rationale or explanation. This study differs from other sciences because amateurs often take part in studies and because birds are commonly seen. It is thought that ornithology developed in the same manner than biology developed. Drawings from the Stone Age show the earliest interest in birds and the remains of over eighty bird species have been found at excavated...

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