Bird Migration: Toxic Molecule May Help Birds ‘See’ North And South

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Changes in the electromagnetic field, such as those experienced by a bird changing direction in flight, appear to alter a biochemical compass in the eye, allowing the bird to see how its direction corresponds to north or south.

Researchers at the University of Illinois report that a toxic molecule known to damage cells and cause disease may also play a pivotal role in bird migration. The molecule, superoxide, is proposed as a key player in the mysterious process that allows birds to “see” Earth’s magnetic field.

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Beaked, Bird-like Dinosaur Tells Story Of Finger Evolution

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Limusaurus

Scientists have discovered a unique beaked, plant-eating dinosaur in China. The finding, they say, demonstrates that theropod, or bird-footed, dinosaurs were more ecologically diverse in the Jurassic period than previously thought, and offers important evidence about how the three-fingered hand of birds evolved from the hand of dinosaurs.

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What Limits The Size Of Birds?

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pictured is the Bald Eagle soaring

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 an average human. In a forthcoming article in PLoS Biology, Sievert Rohwer, and his colleagues at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington, provide evidence that maximum body size in birds is constrained by the amount of time it takes to replace the flight feathers during molt.

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Sardine Run – Amazing Underwater Phenomenon

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl4T26O0eq0[/youtube]

Sardine Run

Every year, between the months of May and July, many millions of silvery sardines travel north from the cold southern oceans off South Africa’s Cape Point, hugging the shore as they make their way up along the coastlines of the former Transkei (northern Eastern Cape) and KwaZulu-Natal in what is commonly known as the annual Sardine Run.
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Its Not A Good Idea To Make A Mockingbird Mad

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Hey Mr. Hitchcock your novel came to life!

If you’ve crossed a mockingbird somewhere along the way, be careful — it may have your number.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that mockingbirds are particularly good at singling out specific people they don’t like. Continue reading… “Its Not A Good Idea To Make A Mockingbird Mad”

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Smuggler Had 14 Songbirds Strapped To Legs

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At least these birds weren’t baked in a pie.

A man was charged on Tuesday with smuggling songbirds into the United States by hiding more than a dozen of them in an elaborate, custom-tailored pair of leggings during a flight from Vietnam to Los Angeles.

Sony Dong, 46, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in March after an inspector spotted bird feathers and droppings on his socks and tail feathers peeking out from under his pants, prosecutors said.

“He had fashioned these special cloth devices to hold the birds,” said U.S. attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek. “They were secured by cloth wrappings and attached to his calves with buttons.”
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Donut-Shaped Wind Energizer Improves Wind Turbine Efficiency

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Better air dynamics

A company called Leviathan Energy has come up with a clever way to improve the efficiency of wind turbines, without making any modifications to the turbines or propellers themselves. Using aerodynamic modeling, Leviathan designed a special plastic and metal skirt structure that wraps around the base of the wind turbine and directs the flow of the air to the critical areas of the blades. The system is guaranteed to increase the power output of a wind turbine by at least 15-30%, and at lower wind speeds (0-6 meters per second) the gains can be as high as 150%.

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Vertical Wind Turbine

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmUZJYYT2n0&eurl=http://cleantechnica&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Imagine spending your life savings on an invention you are sure will someday be successful, even if skeptics think it is impossible. It’s pretty risky right? Well Adam Fuller from Racine, Wisconsin has done this very thing. He has spent his life savings designing an invention he believes in, a vertical wind turbine. Will it work?

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