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:
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]
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:
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:
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.
The article can be read here:
Accessed September 3, 2019