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Tag: bird

The bird that came back from the dead

The bird that came back from the dead

Technology
Scientists have discovered a species of bird which was previously extinct is alive again thanks to an extremely rare process called "iterative evolution".They found the birds - white-throated rails - which were wiped out 136,000 years ago in a flood on an isolated atoll have now re-emerged in the same place. The birds had repeatedly evolved from the same ancestor on the the Aldabra group of islands in the Indian Ocean.White-throated rails are a flightless bird native to that ocean and evolved after colonising the islands which are almost untouched by humans.The birds which migrated to these islands became flightless both times that they colonised them, and the last surviving colony of this new species is still found on the atoll today. ...
Connecting my bird box camera to the web

Connecting my bird box camera to the web

Technology
Since my parents retired, they have spent more and more time enjoying the birds that visit their garden. The British Trust for Ornithology estimates that the public spends more than £200m on bird food each year, so my parents are not alone.My dad even got into a battle of wills with a local squirrel, to make the bird-feeder harder for it to access. For their anniversary, I decided to buy them a bird box. As we are all fans of the BBC's Springwatch, I wanted to get one with a camera attached.There are lots of options for this. Some are wireless and connect to a receiver that you can plug in to your TV. Others connect to the wi-fi and have their own smartphone app. Others have long cables that go directly into your TV. This last one was the option I went fo
Screw-shaped bird sperm swims faster

Screw-shaped bird sperm swims faster

Science
April 5 (UPI) -- Screw-shaped or spiral sperm swim faster than straight sperm, according to a new survey of songbird sperm conducted by researchers at the University of Oslo. Scientists analyzed sperm samples collected from 36 different passerine species, from house sparrows to tree swallows, and discovered corkscrew-shaped sperm swam faster than straight sperm. While speedier sperm offers a reproductive advantage, the benefits come at a price. Doctoral student Hanna Nyborg Støstad found spiral-shaped sperm were more likely to be defective or damaged. Straighter bird sperm may be slower, but the latest research suggests they are hardier. Faster, screw-shaped sperm is more fragile. "Our results suggest that there is a trade-off between swimming speed and robustness of the sperm," Støstad
Bird extinctions 'driven' by global food trade

Bird extinctions 'driven' by global food trade

Science
About 100 bird species are predicted to go extinct based on current farming and forestry practices, according to a new global analysis. This number has increased by 7% over the first ten years of this century alone, say scientists.They say the biggest factor is cattle farming, but the impact of oil seed crops like palm and soy is growing fast. By comparison, an estimated 140 birds have been lost over the past 400 years.International researchers used bird extinction as a measure of the loss of biodiversity - the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat - linked with international trade in food and timber.Five key things about the extinction crisisWhy we may soon have no bananas (again)Mass extinctio...
Start-up Bird backs down in electric scooter legal row

Start-up Bird backs down in electric scooter legal row

Technology
A scooter firm has apologised after issuing a journalist with legal threats over a blogpost about its scooters.Start-up Bird offers electric scooters in around 40 US cities, which are hired via an app.Bird accused Cory Doctorow of copyright infringement for linking to a forum about a device which enables abandoned scooters, bought at auction, to be fitted with a new motherboard.This means they can then be used without the Bird app.Mr Doctorow's blogpost, published on the website Boing Boing, was about the number of Bird scooters that are being abandoned or badly parked, then removed by local authorities and legitimately sold.It described a $ 30 (£23) motherboard which replaces the scooters' existing hardware but does not alter either the hardware or...