100 FLYING BIRDS: Photographing the Mechanics of Flight

ADVANCED READING FOR CHAPTER 8: CONDORS AND CORVIDS

 

THE ARRANGEMENTS OF NEURONS IN BIRD BRAINS

The following study showed that the density of neurons in the brains of birds are greater than those in similarly sized mammals.

Olkowicz S., M. Kocourek, R. K. Lučan, M. Porteš, W. T. Fitch, S. Herculano-Houzel , and P. Němec. 2016. “Birds Have Primate-like Numbers of Neurons in the Forebrain.” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113 (26): 7255-60.

The article can be accessed here:

DOI:     www.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1517131113

PMID: 27298365

 

OPTIMISM IN CROWS

An account of changes in “emotion” after crows experienced success in a problem-solving task was published here:

McCoy, D. E., M. Schiestl, P. Neilands, R. Hassall, R. D. Gray, and A. H. Taylor. 2019. “New Caledonian Crows Behave Optimistically after Using Tools.” Curr Biol. 29 (16).  pii: S0960-9822(19)30840-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.080. [Epub ahead of print]

PMID   31378612

DOI:     https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.080

 

AMERICAN CROWS OBSERVING THEIR DEAD

A description of behavior in American Crows after finding one of their own dead is described here:

Swift K., and J. M. Marzluff. 2018. “Occurrence and Variability of Tactile Interactions between Wild American Crows and Dead Conspecifics.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 373: 20170259.

An abstract is available here:

PMID:  30012745

DOI:     https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2017.0259

Some have referred to this behavior as “mourning” but these researchers thought a more likely explanation was that the birds were looking for the source of the death threat in order to avoid it.

 

LARGE FLYING BIRDS IN THE FOSSIL RECORD

One example of huge birds in the fossil record is Pelagornis chilensis. A description of a remarkably intact specimen found in Chile with an estimated 17-foot (5.2 m) wingspan is described here:

Gerald Mayr, G., and D. Rubilar-Rogers. 2010. “Osteology of a New Giant Bony-toothed Bird from the Miocene of Chile, with a Revision of the Taxonomy of Neogene Pelagornithidae.” Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology30 (5): 1313-1330.

An abstract is accessible here:

https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2010.501465

 

THE FIRST PEOPLE OF ALASKA

Recent evidence suggests that the ancestors of the first people to inhabit Alaska actually lived on the Beringia Land Bridge for thousands of years before moving to the Alaska mainland.

The evidence can be found here:

Hoffecker, J. F., S. A. Elias, and D. H. O'Rourke. 2014. “Anthropology. Out of Beringia?” Science 343 (6174): 979-80.

PMID:  24578571

DOI:     10.1126/science.1250768

The article can be read here:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260431703_Anthropology_Out_of_Beringia/link/02e7e539c654c5097a000000/download

Accessed September 3, 2019