Big bird brains rool, OK!

Excessive cogitation causes canary brains to explode, providing much entertainment for small children.

And so it goes. First it was African gray parrots demonstrating they were smarter than elephants. (See video.)

Then it was crows and their ilk displaying foresight and tool-making skills. (Click on photo.)

Now we’ve got bait-fishing herons.

From The Scientist

 

Bait use in birds

After reviewing the literature, researchers concluded bait fishing by certain species of herons is a real and distinct behavior. Bait

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Seawater to go, scuba wisdom to live by

Consider the following.

Terrestrial umbilicals. Scuba divers, e.g., carry bottled atmosphere underwater, taking a bit of our terrestrial environment with us.

Marine umbilicals. Whether on land or under the sea, meanwhile, we always bring along some of the marine environment from which, about 375 million years ago, we vertebrate land-dwellers first emerged. That’s right. We veteran fish-out-of-water types have internalized the seawater that gave us life in the first place. Our blood now comprises part of what is essentially a … Read more

Sometimes just graphically engaging is plenty

Some years ago, while exploring caves in the southern Thai province of Trang, I came across stalagmites that grew on larger stalagmites like thick boar’s bristles, extending this way and that with apparent disregard for gravity, as though maybe seeking the exit. Try as I might, I couldn’t figure out how these things had formed.

Back in my hotel that evening, parked in front of the TV, I’m gazing in wonder, caveman-wise, at the moving picures. (I didn’t have a … Read more

Um… (attention-span failure)

Kindle Singles. Score one for iPad enthusiasts. Soon there’ll be no time to suffer the unfortunate effects of backlit screens. Kindles are better for extended reading? Yeah, well. Whatever.

Savage Chickens cartoon used with permission. Read more