The Apple Pips

Inside All Apple Products

Tag: birds (Page 1 of 3)

Incredibly rare fossil of a baby bird sheds new light on evolution of prehistoric fliers

baby bird fossil

Despite what you might assume, given the huge number of fossils uncovered in recent years, finding remains of prehistoric creatures is actually pretty hard. Add to that the obvious fact that paleontologists don't get to decide what age an ancient creature was when it died and you can start to get an idea for how difficult it is to find a fossil of an animal that died as an infant. A newly-discovered juvenile bird specimen found in Spain is thought to have died just days after being born, and the fossil is an incredibly rare opportunity for scientists to study the development and evolution of ancient birds.

The bird is thought to have lived ever so briefly around 127 million years ago, and belonged to a group of ancient avians that were something of a half-way point between dinosaurs and modern day birds. The creature was likely covered in plumage, but also had teeth as well as claws on its wings. The study was published in Nature Communications.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. I might love this $40 Apple Watch accessory even more than my Apple Watch
  2. Amazon has a one-day sale going on plush toppers that make any mattress feel like a cloud

Trending Right Now:

  1. Read the transcripts of 911 calls from when Apple employees walked into glass walls
  2. Scientist says he’s found fossilized alien footprints on Mars, blames NASA for cover-up
  3. Ripple is surging on rumors that Coinbase will soon support it

Incredibly rare fossil of a baby bird sheds new light on evolution of prehistoric fliers originally appeared on on Mon, 5 Mar 2018 at 15:22:44 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Yellow cardinal spotted in Alabama baffles researchers who say it’s ‘one in a million’

yellow cardinal

It's not often than a single wild bird can cause a stir within the birdwatching community but that's just what one very special cardinal has managed to do in Alabama. An incredibly rare yellow cardinal has been spotted around Shelby County, and it's such a bizarre treat that birdwatchers are making the trip just for the chance to catch a glimpse of it.

The bird, which appears totally normal aside from it's bold coloring, was first seen by local residents who were having a hard time figuring out exactly what it was. Its golden feathers are a whole lot different from the typical crimson that cardinals are known for, and wherever it goes it manages to draw some attention. The creature has been photographed and captured on video a number of times since early February, and researchers say the peculiar mutation is a one-in-a-million occurrence.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. This discounted multi-use slow cooker is so good, it’ll make John Legere jealous
  2. Amazon just slashed 25% off its popular Fire TV Stick in a surprise sale

Trending Right Now:

  1. 10 Netflix movies and shows you should watch before they’re removed in March
  2. Hands-on: The new Nokia 8110 is more than just a ‘Matrix’ banana phone meme
  3. Galaxy S9: Samsung’s 9 best features

Yellow cardinal spotted in Alabama baffles researchers who say it’s ‘one in a million’ originally appeared on on Mon, 26 Feb 2018 at 09:58:23 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Making tools gives crows a big food boost

Enlarge / A crow gets to work manufacturing a tool. (credit: Jolyon Troscianko)

Tool use among animals isn't common, but it is spread widely across our evolutionary tree. Critters from sea otters to cephalopods have been observed using tools in the wild. In most of these instances, however, the animal is simply using something that's found in its environment, rather than crafting a tool specifically for a task. Tool crafting has mostly been seen among primates.

Mostly, but not entirely. One major exception is the New Caledonian crow. To extract food from holes and crevices, these birds use twigs or stems that are found in their environment without modification. In other environments, however, they'll remove branches from plants and carefully strip parts of the plant to leave behind a hooked stick. The behavior takes over a minute, and the crows will typically carry the tool with them when they explore new sites, and they will sometimes store it for future use.

Understanding how this complex behavior came about in crows requires us to understand the evolutionary advantages that might be had from a good tool. A group of researchers, mostly from the University of St. Andrews, has now done just that: the researchers have quantified how tool manufacture influences food harvesting. The results show that the use of bird-crafted tools can increase food extraction by up to 12 times the rate the crows could achieve by using unmodified sticks.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Bird gets lost at sea, accidentally spawns an entire new species on a remote island

bird evolution

If you get lost at sea and find yourself on an island you'd probably try to build a fire, pile some sticks and stones into a makeshift home and maybe even try to signal for help. When one misguided bird found himself in the same situation, he didn't wallow in his own self pity; he created his own entirely new species.

Over the past 36 years, scientists have been closely studying the incredible story of an entirely new bird species that seemingly came out of nowhere, and it all started with one poor finch who lost his way. The peculiar tale takes place on a remote island in the Galapagos chain tucked away in the Pacific Ocean, and it's helping scientists to understand how new species can form much faster than we typically imagine.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. The hottest Nintendo Switch game in existence is discounted for about another 15 minutes
  2. You’re crazy if you don’t re-up your PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live with these Black Friday deals

Trending Right Now:

  1. There’s one iPhone X feature the Galaxy S9 will reportedly steal, and you’re going to love it
  2. Black Friday 2017: All the best deals from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and more
  3. Russian billionaire wants to beat NASA in the search for alien life, and he’s moving forward with his plan

Bird gets lost at sea, accidentally spawns an entire new species on a remote island originally appeared on on Fri, 24 Nov 2017 at 16:00:31 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Australia’s national broadband network under relentless attack—by cockatoos

Enlarge / I'm in ur tower, nommin ur Internets (credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), the effort to bring high-speed Internet to the masses down under, has encountered many speed bumps. The plan to bring fiber-optic broadband Internet to every Australian has been pared back in its ambitions, with a shift to a fiber backbone between "nodes" and distribution over copper wire or cable networks to the majority of users. That cost-saving move, which puts ISPs and cable providers in charge of managing customers' access, has caused some consternation. But now the operators of the NBN have discovered another problem that affects the cost of delivering the backbone. And it's for the birds.

The BBC reports that NBN technicians have discovered cockatoos have been damaging the ends of spare fiber cables left in place on communications towers for future network expansion by chomping on them, wearing through the steel braiding that protects the fiber. Active cables haven't been affected, so there has been no loss of service (as of yet) due to cockatoo attacks; the ends of cables carrying active traffic are protected by a plastic cages. But cables left with their ends exposed have become a favorite of the birds, who use them to help wear down their ever-growing beaks. And the cables cost AUS$10,000 (about US$7,700) to replace.

NBN's Chedryian Bresland told the BBC, "That's Australia for you. If the spiders and snakes don't get you, the cockies will."

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén