Tag Archives: birds

Discovery of long-sought biological compass claimed

By David Cyranoski | November 16, 2015 Protein complex offers explanation for how animals sense Earth’s magnetic pull. In the cells of fruit flies, Chinese scientists say that they have found a biological compass needle: a rod-shaped complex of proteins that can align with Earth’s weak magnetic field. The biocompass — whose constituent proteins exist in related forms in other species, including humans — could explain a long-standing puzzle: how animals such as birds and insects …

Farmers hold key to survival of threatened bird species, says RSPB 

By WMNPBowern | Ocober 29, 2015 Farmers hold the key to saving the Westcountry’s most threatened bird species, Britain’s biggest conservation charity said today. The RSPB said farmers had stepped in before to make special efforts to ensure the survival of at-risk birds – and they could do so again. The charity’s spokesman in the South West, Tony Whitehead, was responding to a report from the government into the state of farmland birds – and to international research into UK species at …

New Species of Ancient Shorebird Identified from New Zealand Fossils 

… birds that comprises the South American seedsnipes (Thinocoridae) and the Australian Plains-wanderer (Pedionomidae). “We were excited to discover that the fossil shorebird was not a typical wader, but more like an ancestral Plains-wanderer, with some seedsnipe-like features,” said Dr Venesa De Pietri of Canterbury Museum, lead author of the paper. The Plains-wanderer and seedsnipes are unusual shorebirds as they have adapted well to living on the land. “We’re happy to have found a fossil …

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