News tagged with feathers

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High-maintenance mallards

The shimmery feathers of a male mallard might have a showy quality that appeals to prospective mates, but the water resistance and self-cleaning capabilities of iridescent feathers pale in comparison to those ...

Jun 17, 2011
4 / 5 (1) 0 | with audio podcast

'Naked' penguins baffle experts

Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Washington, and other groups are grappling with a wildlife mystery: Why are some penguin chicks losing their feathers?

Apr 08, 2011
4.8 / 5 (10) 4 | with audio podcast

Earliest toothless bird found

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new species of bird from the Cretaceous period in China has been identified. It had toothless upper and lower jaws, and provides significant information on the diversification in the evolution ...

Dec 10, 2009 weblog
4.8 / 5 (5) 0

When a whistle beats a tweet

Biologists have discovered that a species of Australian pigeon has a secret way of alerting fellow birds to predators -- a "whistle" emitted by flapping wings when the bird takes off in alarm.

Sep 01, 2009
not rated yet 1

What limits the size of birds?

Why aren't birds larger? Fifteen-kilogram swans hold the current upper size record for flying birds, although the extinct Argentavis of the Miocene Epoch in Argentina is estimated to have weighed 70 kilograms, the size of ...

Jun 16, 2009
5 / 5 (7) 2

Long, sexy tails not a drag on male birds

The long tails sported by many male birds in the tropics look like they're a drag to carry around and a distinct disadvantage when fleeing predators, but experiments by University of California, Berkeley, ...

Mar 12, 2009
4.5 / 5 (2) 0