The Origin Of Birds

I had to post this Nova show. I love birds and had no idea, they are actually living dinosaurs. In The Four-Winged Dinosaur, NOVA investigates the most bizarre of these feathered dinosaurs, which has rekindled a fierce, decades-long debate over the origin of bird flight.

Wikipedia

The origin of birds has been a contentious topic within evolutionary biology for many years, but more recently a scientific consensus has emerged which holds that birds are a group of theropod dinosaurs that evolved during the Mesozoic Era. A close relationship between birds and dinosaurs was first proposed in the nineteenth century after the discovery of the primitive bird Archaeopteryx in Germany and has been all but confirmed since the 1960s by comparative anatomy and the cladistic method of analyzing evolutionary relationships. The ongoing discovery of feathered dinosaur fossils in the Liaoning Province of China has shed new light on the subject for both specialists and the general public. In the phylogenetic sense, birds are dinosaurs. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

Birds Moving North As Warming Increases

birds008 Birds Moving North As Warming Increases

If you’re one of those who thinks climate change is for the birds, you’re wrong. At least in the metaphoric sense. As for real birds, researchers from Auburn University have discovered a curious behavior pattern that might turn out to be the result of global warming.

As part of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (begun in 1966) that studied the ranges of common birds from Mexico to Canada, Alan Hitch and Paul Leberg observed the breeding patterns of eastern arboreal and semi-arboreal birds (the kind you find in backyards – 56 species in all). Some names with which you might be familiar are the Common Ground-dove, Bachman’s Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird, Bewick’s Wren and the Golden-winged Warbler.

birds005 Birds Moving North As Warming Increases

Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

Horseshoe Crab Shortage Leading Red Knot To Extinction

red knot Horseshoe Crab Shortage Leading Red Knot To Extinction

I’m really sick of this story: animal needs food but can’t get it because man is hording it for evil purposes. It’s like taking candy from a baby, except that instead of simply crying, the animals in question are dying.

The latest potential casualty is this seemingly never ending saga is the red knot. This medium sized bird lives on the shore, breeds in tundra and has an enormous migration pattern that takes them from the lower parts of South America all the way to the Arctic. Along its journey the red knot pit stops in Delaware to feast on its food of choice — the eggs produced by horseshoe crabs.

But the red knot has unfair competition in the way of commercial fisherman, who scoop up the horseshoe crabs and use them as bait. And the proof of the results is in the pudding: over the last two decades, horseshoe crabbing has gone up while the red knot’s population has gone down. Way down.

red knot 003 Horseshoe Crab Shortage Leading Red Knot To Extinction

Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

Birds Moving North As Warming Increases

birds008 Birds Moving North As Warming Increases

If you’re one of those who thinks climate change is for the birds, you’re wrong. At least in the metaphoric sense. As for real birds, researchers from Auburn University have discovered a curious behavior pattern that might turn out to be the result of global warming.

As part of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (begun in 1966) that studied the ranges of common birds from Mexico to Canada, Alan Hitch and Paul Leberg observed the breeding patterns of eastern arboreal and semi-arboreal birds (the kind you find in backyards – 56 species in all). Some names with which you might be familiar are the Common Ground-dove, Bachman’s Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird, Bewick’s Wren and the Golden-winged Warbler.

birds005 Birds Moving North As Warming Increases

Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

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