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Decoding Hidden Information On Robins' Feathers
2011-12-16 03:42:35

Red breasted robins are a classic symbol of the winter months and have adorned Christmas cards for over a century. Ornithologists studying the feathers of the European robin (Erithacus rubecula) have discovered that the red breast reveals more than simply the species of the owner. The findings, published in Ibis, reveal how the famous red breast varies in size and coloration over ages and sexes, suggesting it may be used to communicate features of the owner to other robins. The research,...


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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