Monday, October 04, 2010

Interesting Reading

Researchers crack cuckoo egg mystery

ScienceDaily (2010-09-22) -- Researchers have discovered that cuckoo eggs are internally incubated by the female bird for up to 24 hours before birth, solving for the first time the mystery as to how a cuckoo chick is able to hatch in advance of a host's eggs and brutally evict them. ... > read full article

How Birds Spot The Cuckoo In The Nest

ScienceDaily (2008-07-21) -- It's not always easy spotting the cuckoo in the nest. But if you don't, you pay a high price raising someone else's chick. How hosts distinguish impostor eggs from their own has long puzzled scientists. The problem remained largely unsolved while looking at it through our own eyes. It was only when people started thinking from the birds' perspective that they began to understand how hosts recognise a cuckoo egg in the nest. ... > read full article

Tiny, new, pea-sized frog is old world's smallest

ScienceDaily (2010-08-25) -- The smallest frog in the Old World (Asia, Africa and Europe) and one of the world's tiniest was discovered inside and around pitcher plants in the heath forests of the Southeast Asian island of Borneo. The pea-sized amphibian is a species of microhylid, which, as the name suggests, is composed of miniature frogs under 15 millimeters. ... > read full article

Fragmented forests result in more snakes, fewer birds

ScienceDaily (2010-05-04) -- Monitoring both prey and predator, researchers learned that rat snakes accounted for a high percentage of cases of nest predation. Because snakes spend so much more time on the edges of the forest, that's where bird nests should be most vulnerable, but the opposite was true. They go into the forest to feed, then return to the edges. This knowledge of habitat preferences of rat snakes is starting to explain why forest fragmentation usually results in increased nest predation for forest birds. ... > read full article

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