bird

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A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology presents data suggesting that birds do not carry a specific anti-inflammatory protein critical for keeping inflammation under control in mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The specific protein is tristetraprolin (TTP). It functions mainly by inhibiting key mediators of inflammation in the body, such as tumor necrosis…

Birds follow speed limits

Dr. Pierre Legagneux (University of Quebec in Rimouski, Canada) and Dr. Simon Ducatez (McGill University, Canada) published a new study in Biology Letters suggesting that birds judge the speed limit of cars to determine when to take flight. In areas with higher speed limits, birds were observed to take off sooner than areas with lower…

Find out why most species of birds do not have a penis in this video abstract of new research published yesterday in Current Biology: Source Herrera AM, Shuster SG, Perriton CL, Cohn MJ. Developmental basis of phallus reduction during bird evolution. Current Biology Published online June 6, 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.062

City birds are early to rise

A recent study has provided some evidence supporting the hypothesis that light and noise pollution alters the biological clocks of birds living in cities (compared to birds living in rural areas).   Dr. Dominoni (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany) and colleagues used radio-pulse transmitters attached to European blackbirds (Turdus merula) living in Munich, Germany…

Ancient bird had specialized teeth!

Researchers have unearthed a fossil of a robin-sized bird (Sulcavis geeorum) from the Cretaceous Period in China that had teeth! This species belonged to a class of birds with teeth (Enantiornithines) that were plentiful in the age of the dinosaurs. However, the teeth of this well-preserved specimen were different. The teeth were sharp and had…

Researchers Suárez-Rodríguez et al., observed house finches (C. mexicanus) and sparrows (P. domesticus) on the National University of Mexico campus in Mexico City routinely pulling apart cigarette butts to obtain the filters. The birds were found to incorporate the filters in their nests leaving researchers to speculate the purpose of used cigarette butts. Using heating elements to attract parasites, they…

Clever cockatoo caught using tools

Check out this picture of a captive cockatoo (Cacatua goffiniana) in the Department of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna using a tool: Figaro (shown above) was observed by a student using a piece of bamboo to try to retrieve a dropped pebble. This was the first documented evidence of a Goffin’s cockatoo attempting…