Since humans came to South Georgia Island centuries ago, rats have terrorized rare native birds. But an ambitious project, using some plucky canine aides, has cleared the frigid wilderness.
Modern birds are dinosaurs without toothy jaws, and with bigger brains. Newly published research fills in some of the missing links in their evolution.
When Nick Burchill stayed at the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, Canada, in 2001, he left the window open and a suitcase full of pepperoni in his room. The birds saw an opportunity.
New tests reveal humans have long raised the birds, and not just for food. Ancient Mesoamericans were buried with turkeys, perhaps as snacks, companions or status symbols. There was even a turkey god.
In a video posted by Birdwatch Ireland, a murmuration of starlings dips and dodges a predator with grace. The scene was just one of many such spectacles filling the skies of southern Ireland lately.
The same guidance principle that governs how missiles intercept moving targets also describes how the falcons, which are known to dive at 200 mph or more, plummet to catch their prey.
A Delta spokeswoman said a bird is the likely culprit for the caved-in nose of the plane, although crews are still investigating.
What appears to be a feat actually requires almost no muscle effort from the bird. The researchers found even a dead flamingo's body will fall into a stable one-leg balance if positioned vertically.