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Ribbon-tailed Astrapia: The Three-Foot Tail | Cornell / National Geographic

February 24, 2018

The tremendously long tails of male Ribbon-tailed Astrapias don’t help them survive, in fact they get in the way. Males sometimes have to pause to untangle their tails before they can fly away—not a survival advantage. But the tails do help them attract females. And by carefully choosing their mates, the females determine which males’ genes—and what kinds of tails—survive to the next generation. Filmed and photographed by Tim Laman.

There are currently seventy-two short films in the entire Birds-of-Paradise Project playlist, ranging from 26 seconds to 8:29. In the upcoming weeks, we will present some of our favorites.

A film from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.  [Chuck Almdale]

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