Monthly Archives: June 2013

Can Turkeys Do Math?

Turkey does mathHere at the edge of the wood we have never been good at math. No problem because it turns out our animal friends excel beyond our wildest dreams.  Pigeons have shown that not only can they count but  they can learn abstract rules about numbers, an ability that had been demonstrated only in primates. But all sorts of animals, including bees, can count. Recent studies have uncovered  counting skills in different species, suggesting that mathematical abilities could be more fundamental in biology than previously thought. Here we have a fine turkey showing her chicks how to work it out at the blackboard. We should all be so lucky!

When Is A Bird A Dinosaur?

THis cardinal, blue jay, grackle, red-bellied woodpecker and cat bird are really oldWell, it seems all the time. Paleontologists are now saying that modern birds are actually living dinosaurs. Then came news from China that some dinosaurs seemed to be marvelous four-winged creatures, perhaps on standby at some runway for takeoff in flight as early birds. Other recently excavated primitive bird species had also adopted the four-wing body plan before they ditched the hind-limb feathers and evolved into the, presumably, more efficient feathered forelimb wings. Here are a cardinal, blue jay, grackle, red-bellied woodpecker and catbird discussing their costumes for the next Jurasic Park movie. Maybe they don’t need costumes at all.