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Creating a Ground Plan for Stonefly Evolution

Dec. 15, 2020 — A team has microscopically examined the eggs of stoneflies to identify ground plan features and shed light on the evolutionary history of the order. By identifying ancestral and derived features, the …

Small Finlets on Owl Feathers Point the Way to Less Aircraft Noise

Nov. 18, 2020 — Researchers reveals how the microstructure of small finlets on owl feathers enable silent …

In the Amazon’s ‘Sand Forests,’ Birds Play by Different Evolutionary Rules

Nov. 17, 2020 — The Amazon isn’t just rainforest — patches of habitat grow on white sands. Scientists are starting to turn their attention to these ‘sand forests’ and the animals that live there. In …

Abundance of Prey Species Is Key to Bird Diversity in Cities

Nov. 17, 2020 — A team of scientists collaborated to analyze breeding bird data gathered by citizen scientists. They found that the abundance of invertebrates such as insects or spiders as prey is a key factor …

Henderson Island Fossils Reveal New Polynesian Sandpiper Species

Nov. 16, 2020 — Fossil bones collected in the early 1990s on Henderson Island, part of the Pitcairn Group, have revealed a new species of Polynesian sandpiper. The Henderson Sandpiper, a small wading bird that has …

In a Warming Climate, Can Birds Take the Heat?

Nov. 12, 2020 — We don’t know precisely how hot things will get as climate change marches on, but animals in the tropics may not fare as well as their temperate relatives. Many scientists think tropical …

Scientists Release Genomes of Birds Representing Nearly All Avian Families

Nov. 11, 2020 — Scientists report on the genomes of 363 species of birds, including 267 that have been sequenced for the first time. The studied species represent more than 92 percent of the world’s avian …

New Genome Alignment Tool Empowers Large-Scale Studies of Vertebrate Evolution

Nov. 11, 2020 — Three new articles present major advances in understanding the evolution of birds and mammals, made possible by new methods for comparing the genomes of hundreds of species. Researchers developed a …

Noise and Light Can ‘Profoundly’ Alter Bird Reproduction

Nov. 11, 2020 — By analyzing nesting data from across the contiguous US, the authors found widespread impacts of noise and light pollution on bird nesting habits and success. Birds that live in forests were most …

Prenatal Thyroid Hormones Influence ‘Biological Age’ at Birth

Nov. 11, 2020 — The environment we experience in early-life is known to have major consequences on later-life health and lifespan. A new study using an avian model suggests that increased prenatal exposure to …

Group Size and Makeup Affect How Social Birds Move Together

Nov. 10, 2020 — Scientists have shown that the size and makeup of groups of social birds can predict how efficiently they use and move through their habitat, according to new …

Chronic Stress Causes Genetic Changes in Chickens

Nov. 10, 2020 — How can stress in animals be measured? Scientists have now found that what are known as epigenetic biomarkers could be used to detect long-term exposure to stress in commercially raised chickens. …

Variety in the Migratory Behavior of Blackcaps

Nov. 7, 2020 — Through a large-scale study with so-called geolocators, researchers were able to uncover some of the mysteries surrounding the phenomenon of the blackcap’s bird …

Migration and Molt Affect How Birds Change Their Colors

Nov. 7, 2020 — Before their big journey, many birds molt their bright feathers, replacing them with a more subdued palette. Watching this molt led scientists to wonder how feather color changes relate to the …

Species More Likely to Die out With Rapid Climate Changes

Nov. 5, 2020 — The great tit and other birds can adapt to changes in their food supply as a result of climate change, but they run into trouble if the changes happen too …

Two Centuries of Monarch Butterflies Show Evolution of Wing Length

Nov. 2, 2020 — North America’s beloved Monarch butterflies are known for their annual, multi-generation migrations in which individual insects can fly for thousands of miles. But Monarchs have also settled in …

Multi-Drone System Autonomously Surveys Penguin Colonies

Oct. 28, 2020 — A new multi-drone imaging system was put to the test in Antarctica. The task? Documenting a colony of roughly 1 million Adélie …

Giant Lizards Learnt to Fly Over Millions of Years

Oct. 28, 2020 — Most detailed every study into how animals evolve to better suit their environments shows that pterosaurs become more efficient at flying over millions of years before going extinct with the …

Cracking the Secrets of Dinosaur Eggshells

Oct. 28, 2020 — Since the famous discovery of dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert in the early 1920s, the fossilized remains have captured the imaginations of paleontologists and the public, alike. Although dinosaur …

Most Migratory Birds Rely on a Greening World

Oct. 27, 2020 — A new study confirms that most birds — but not all — synchronize their migratory movements with seasonal changes in vegetation greenness. This is the first study of its kind to cover the Western …

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