Crowbox: Training Crows To Clean The Planet

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How much do you actually know about crows? Other than they are loud and sit on the tops of trees and make a bunch of noise? They always seem to lurk around and stare you in the eye a little too long for comfort, right? Well, turns out they are much smarter than you might think, and they may even be one solution to our garbage problem. Inventor Josh Klein started doing experiments in 2008 showing that you could train crows to use a vending machine, and not just that, but that they were smart enough to pass the training on to each other. Knowing this, how can we use crows to our advantage instead of just seeing them as local pests or flying rats?

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Hearing On The Wing: New Structure Discovered In Butterfly Ears

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The human ear

A clever structure in the ear of a tropical butterfly that potentially makes it able to distinguish between high and low pitch sounds has been discovered by scientists from the University of Bristol.

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Long Feared Extinct, Rare Bird Rediscovered

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Corvus unicolor, the long-lost Banggai Crow, was rediscovered on Indonesia’s Peleng Island.

Known to science only by two specimens described in 1900, a critically endangered crow has re-emerged on a remote, mountainous Indonesian island thanks in part to a Michigan State University scientist.

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Loyal Alligators Display Mating Habits Of Birds

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New studies show that alligators display the same loyalty to their mating partners as birds.

Alligators display the same loyalty to their mating partners as birds reveals a study published today in Molecular Ecology. The ten-year-study by scientists from the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory reveals that up to 70% of females chose to remain with their partner, often for many years.

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Amazing Photos From The Falklands, South Georgia And Antarctica Cruise Aboard The Ocean Nova

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Penguins on an iceberg in the South Orkney Islands

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from Ushuaia, Argentina aboard the Ocean Nova, a tiny ship.
Alek was a mighty camera man as he took 10,000 pictures for sure.
66 passengers set sail seven months ago for a 19-day tour. A 19-day tour.”

 

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Parasitic Worms Make Sex Worthwhile

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Potamopyrgus antipodarum is a snail that lives in the muds of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and estuaries

The coevolutionary struggle between a New Zealand snail and its worm parasite makes sex advantageous for the snail, whose females favor asexual reproduction in the absence of parasites, say Indiana University Bloomington and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology biologists in this week’s Current Biology

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Battle Of The Sexes Benefits Offspring, Says Research In Birds

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as zebra finches fine-tune their songs, the brain initially stores improvements in one brain pathway before transferring this learned information to the motor pathway for long-term storage

Learning complex skills like playing an instrument requires a sequence of movements that can take years to master. Last year, MIT neuroscientists reported that by studying the chirps of tiny songbirds, they were able to identify how two distinct brain circuits contribute to this type of trial-and-error learning in different stages of life.

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Evidence Of Memory Seen In Songbird Brain

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University of Illinois cell and developmental biology professor David Clayton

When a zebra finch hears a new song from a member of its own species, the experience changes gene expression in its brain in unexpected ways, researchers report. The sequential switching on and off of thousands of genes after a bird hears a new tune offers a new picture of memory in the songbird brain. Continue reading… “Evidence Of Memory Seen In Songbird Brain”

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‘Neurologger’ Reads Bird Brains In Flight

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A flock of homing pigeon flying

Using a “neurologger” specially designed to record the brain activity of pigeons in flight, researchers reporting online on June 25th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, have gained new insight into what goes through the birds’ minds as they fly over familiar terrain.

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Homing Pigeons Have Built In “GPS”

Homing Pigeons Have Built In “GPS”

Homing pigeons use the Earth’s magnetic field 

Homing pigeons have built in ‘satnav’ that uses Earth’s magnetic field to pinpoint position and help them find their way home, according to a study.  Scientists have suspected for years that birds possess the ability to use the Earth’s magnetic field for their navigation, although it has never been proved beyond doubt.

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