Tagged: birds

Don’t forget to vote! - Chicken or Egg

Hilary Miller Oct 10, 2010

No, not for your local government (you’re too late for that).  For New Zealand’s Bird of the Year, of course! Apparently the pukeko is out in front. Come on people, can’t we at least chose something endemic? A species that we don’t share with Australia and numerous other countries??  There’s plenty to chose from – [...] … Read More

Beating the creationists at their own game? - Chicken or Egg

Hilary Miller Jul 21, 2010

The presence of “gaps” in the fossil record is one of the main arguments creationists use against evolution. The transition from Coelurosaurian dinosaurs to birds is one such purported gap that creationists like to harp on about.  Evolutionary biologists would argue that Archeopteryx fills this gap quite nicely, but this is disputed by creationists, who argue [...] … Read More

So now you know… - Chicken or Egg

Hilary Miller Jul 15, 2010

This from Stuff.co.nz: British scientists believe they have cracked the answer to the age-old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Researchers have found that a protein called ovocleidin (OC-17) is crucial in the formulation of eggshells, and it is produced in the pregnant hen’s ovaries, the Daily Express reports. Therefore, the [...] … Read More

What are the limits of non-stop flight? - Chicken or Egg

Hilary Miller May 14, 2010

In 2007, an Alaskan bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica baueri) flew 11,000 kms over 8 days from Siberia to New Zealand.  Nonstop.  Thats without feeding, sitting down on the ocean to rest, or calling in for a break at a tropical island on the way.  In Plos Biology this week, Anders Hedenström looks at the physiological [...] … Read More

Songbird genome published - Chicken or Egg

Hilary Miller Apr 01, 2010

The genome of the zebra finch was published in Nature today and is free to access here. This is the second bird species to have its genome published – the other one being the chicken.  The zebra finch is a member of the Order Passeriformes (the songbirds) and is something of a model organism in [...] … Read More

Dem pesky birds - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Feb 19, 2010

The Australian outback has flies. You know the eponymous hand-flick of countries with flies? Locals there apparently call it the ’Australian Salute’. Whales seem to have flocks of birds and tail flicks. In this video, I can just imagine the whale cruising along thinking, ’it’s dem pesky birds again!’: … Read More

New family tree for moa - Chicken or Egg

Hilary Miller Nov 23, 2009

A new take on the evolutionary history of the moa was published in PNAS this week.  Mike Bunce from Murdoch University in Perth and researchers from Alan Cooper’s lab at University of Adelaide have combined genetic data from over 260 moa bones with anatomical, geological and ecological information, to revise species relationships among moa and suggest a timeframe and origin for [...] … Read More