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birds

  1. Contrary to Popular Belief, Lake Natron Does Not Instantly Turn Birds To Stone

    Guys, it's a lake. It's not Medusa.

    Sometimes the media does this thing where it takes something incredibly fascinating and turns into a crappy game of telephone, and at the end everybody believes something completely fake. Case in point: after those gorgeous pictures of mummified Lake Natron birds made the rounds, now everybody thinks that the lake has supernatural gorgon-like powers.

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  2. Learn About Behavioral Patterns of the European Robin As Reenacted By Ridiculous Humans [Video]

    Too bad it's not Matt Damon playing the Robin. TOPICAL!

    Remember those "Cat friend vs. Dog friend" videos that made the rounds a while back? Imagine if you'd actually learned something about animal behavior from that series instead of just laughing at how accurate it is -- that's what this video from Pleated-Jeans is. Now you'll know everything you need to about the European Robin's territorial nature.

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  3. Watch a Parakeet Trying to Say “Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition” [VIDEO]

    And Now For Something Completely Different

    Meet Disco. Disco has a pretty big vocabulary for a parakeet. "Hamburger" is among the words he can say. So is "cheeseburger." Dirty Dancing quotes? Disco's on that. But "inquisition"... well, that one's a bit tougher. (via: Nerd Approved) Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

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  4. Monday Cute: Baby Ostriches Dance the Closing Ceremonies of San Diego Comic-Con

    Awwwwww

    Actually they're just dancing 'cause that's what ostriches do in their spare time, even when they're being fostered by a human parent along with some four-week-younger emus. (via Hypervocal.)

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  5. Monday Cute: Wobbly Baby Flamingo Can’t Believe It’s Monday Morning Already

    Awwwwww

    It'll be okay, little... uh. What's your name? Oh, you and your nest mates were named after presidents Washington, Lincoln, and Truman? There's gotta be a joke in there somewhere. (via ZooBorns.)

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  6. High-Speed Cameras Create Beautiful Slow-Motion Bird Videos for Science

    Birds: How do they work?

    We know birds can fly, because they do, but we don't know much about how they fly. It probably has something to do with their wings. Part of the problem with studying birds is that they move much faster than we do. That's why students at Stanford University have been using high-speed video cameras to capture slow motion video of birds in flight. The resulting video is really quite beautiful.

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  7. Seagulls May Be Killing Dozens of Baby Whales Off the Coast of Argentina

    Seagull attacks can disrupt the feeding habits of young whales, causing them to slowly starve, researchers hypothesize.

    Last year, researchers found 116 dead right whales in the waters off of Argentina -- all but three of them calves, or immature whales. That marked a startling doubling of whale casualties in the area the year before, and some researchers think they know what is killing the whales -- legions of seagulls who dive bomb the huge animals as they're surfacing for air, making a meal of the whales' nutritious blubber and leaving the aquatic mammals with gashes in their hides up to four inches deep.

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  8. Monday Cute: Bird Sings Totoro Theme to Piano Accompanyment

    it's time to play the music

    Do you think Poko the Cockatiel would like to be a guest soloist with my a capella group?

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  9. How the Chicken Lost Its Penis

    A Current Biology study published this week explains how evolution left most bird species penis-free.

    Researchers have long wondered why evolution robbed many bird species -- like the chicken -- of a piece of anatomy considered pretty key in most of the breeding we're familiar with -- the penis. A new study of a wide range of birds has revealed a key gene that stymies penis growth in males and suggests a few reasons that nixing the penis could be evolutionarily advantageous for the animals, though it does make calling a male rooster a cock among the crueler jokes in the history of time.

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  10. Extinct Solitaire Birds Wings No Good for Flying, Great at Punching

    Solitaire birds battled one another with knobs of bone that could grow as large as a ping-pong ball.

    Julian Hume and Lorna Steel of the Natural History Museum did some digging and found that these famously aggro animals -- about whom little is known -- and found that the giant, flightless pigeons did have a use for their wings after all -- as potentially deadly weapons sporting bone growths as large as ping-pong balls. Covered in a layer of thick skin, these bones would have acted as boxing gloves of sorts for the birds during battles over mates.

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