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Bird Gleanings from “Science News”

May 18, 2010

Alternative flame retardants leach into the environment
Supposedly safer chemicals are spotted in peregrine falcon eggs in California.
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/57666/title/Alternative_flame_retardants
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First songbird genome arrives with spring
The genome of a songbird has been decoded for the first time. Zebra finches join chickens as the only birds to have detailed maps of their genetic blueprints.
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/57818/title/First_songbird_genome_arrives_with__spring
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Pigeons usually let best navigator take the lead
One bird usually leads the flock, but sometimes another gets a turn at the helm.
Make sure you watch the short video.
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/57997/title/Pigeons_usually_let_best_navigator_take_the_lead

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Dinos molted for a new look
In one species, adolescents appear to have sprouted a new type of feathers as they matured.
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/58693/title/Dinos_molted_for_a_new_look
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Archaeopteryx fossil seen in new light
X-ray technique reveals original tissue in the feathers of a primitive bird fossil.
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/59062/title/Archaeopteryx_fossil_seen_in_new_light_
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Earliest birds didn’t make a flap
The feathers of Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis probably were not strong enough to support sustained flight.
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/59174/title/Earliest_birds_didnt_make_a_flap

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