Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

BIRD

The surprising organization of avian brains

Some birds can perform amazing cognitive feats – even though their forebrains seem to just consist of lumps of grey cells, while mammalian forebrains harbour a highly complex neocortex. A study reveals for the first time amazing similarities between the neocortex of mammals and sensory brain areas of birds: both are arranged in horizontal layers and vertical columns.

URI grad student finds PFAS in seabirds from Narragansett Bay, Massachusetts Bay, Cape Fear

(University of Rhode Island) A recent study by a University of Rhode Island graduate student researching PFAS exposure found high levels of the compounds in seabirds from offshore Massachusetts and coastal Rhode Island and North Carolina adding to the accumulating pile of evidence related to human and animal exposure to these chemical compounds.

Wild birds as offerings to the Egyptian gods

Millions of mummified ibis and birds of prey, sacrificed to the Egyptian gods Horus, Ra or Thoth, have been discovered in the necropolises of the Nile Valley. Such a quantity of mummified birds raises the question of their origin: were they bred, like cats, or were they hunted? According to a team of scientists that carried out extensive geochemical analyses on mummies, they were wild birds.

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Bird beak revealed by laser imaging informs early beak function and development

Confuciusornis was a crow-like fossil bird that lived in the Cretaceous ~120 million years ago. It was one of the first birds to evolve a beak. Early beak evolution remains understudied. Using an imaging technique called Laser-Stimulated Fluorescence, researchers address this by revealing just how different the beak and jaw of Confuciusornis were compared to birds we see today.

Bird beak revealed by laser imaging informs early beak function and development

Confuciusornis was a crow-like fossil bird that lived in the Cretaceous ~120 million years ago. It was one of the first birds to evolve a beak. Early beak evolution remains understudied. Using an imaging technique called Laser-Stimulated Fluorescence, researchers address this by revealing just how different the beak and jaw of Confuciusornis were compared to birds we see today.

How researchers look at the bird brain in action

How do birds make decisions and which brain regions are particularly active when they solve tasks? Researchers are investigating these questions. So far, only anesthetized birds and therefore passive experiments could be examined using the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Thus, the examination of brain processes during active tasks was not possible. Now the researchers have constructed an experimental set-up which allows them to carry out fMRI examinations on awake pigeons and thus also investigate cognitive processes for the first time.

Polarization over energy and climate in Canada: Oil and gas

(University of Ottawa) Positive Energy released new survey results examining Canadians’ views on the role of oil and gas in Canada’s current and future economy, and the respective roles of federal and provincial governments in the country’s energy and climate future. This novel survey explores how party affiliation, ideology, region, gender, and age may influence opinions on these topics. The survey, conducted prior to the onset of COVID-19, provides a valuable benchmark for Canadians’ views on oil, gas and government leadership.

Green-Energy Agenda Gets Reality Check From Environmentalists

Icebreaker Wind, designed as the first offshore renewable power project in the Great Lakes, is backed by the usual supporting cast: energy development advocates and environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the Ohio Environmental Council. What’s surprising is that…