News tagged with birds
In a top-security lab in the Netherlands, scientists guard specimens of a super-killer influenza that slays half of those it infects and spreads easily from victim to victim.
Medical research Dec 28, 2011 | 4.6 / 5 (8) | 13
World health ministers said Friday they were being vigilant after a Dutch laboratory developed a mutant version of the deadly bird flu virus that is for the first time contagious among humans.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Dec 09, 2011 | 5 / 5 (7) | 7
Sleep plays an important role in the brain's ability to consolidate learning when two new potentially competing tasks are learned in the same day, research at the University of Chicago demonstrates.
Neuroscience Mar 20, 2013 | 5 / 5 (6) | 1 |
(Medical Xpress) -- Cambridge scientists have used an age-old fable to help illustrate how we think differently to other animals.
Psychology & Psychiatry Jul 25, 2012 | 3.9 / 5 (7) | 10 |
(Medical Xpress)—Red-faced men are feeling flush with the revelation that women find rosy cheeks attractive.
Psychology & Psychiatry Oct 09, 2012 | 4.4 / 5 (5) | 5 |
(Medical Xpress) -- A CDC study led by microbiologist Terrence Tumpey has found that the H3N2 virus that infected several people in the United States last year, may have more pandemic potential than has been ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Feb 21, 2012 | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 1 |
(Medical Xpress)—A bird listening to birdsong may experience some of the same emotions as a human listening to music, suggests a new study on white-throated sparrows, published in Frontiers of Evolutionary Ne ...
Neuroscience Dec 27, 2012 | 5 / 5 (4) | 11 |
For migratory birds and sea turtles, the ability to sense the Earth's magnetic field is crucial to navigating the long-distance voyages these animals undertake during migration. Humans, however, are widely assumed not to ...
Medical research Jun 21, 2011 | 3.8 / 5 (4) | 18 |
A man is in critical condition after testing positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, state media said Saturday.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Dec 30, 2011 | 5 / 5 (3) | 0
Scientists have engineered a new strain of H5N1 (commonly known as bird flu) to be readily transmitted between humans. Two perspectives being published early online in Annals of Internal Medicine, the flagship journal of the ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Jan 26, 2012 | 5 / 5 (3) | 1
Virologists making mutated versions of the H5N1 bird flu halted their research in January after a U.S. government advisory panel suggested that their work, though well-intentioned, had the potential to endanger the public.
Medical research Oct 13, 2012 | 5 / 5 (3) | 2
A genetic analysis of the avian flu virus responsible for at least nine human deaths in China portrays a virus evolving to adapt to human cells, raising concern about its potential to spark a new global flu pandemic.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Apr 12, 2013 | 5 / 5 (3) | 1 |
China's H7N9 bird flu spread west to the central province of Henan on Sunday, as government websites and state media reported two deaths and 11 new cases nationwide.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Apr 14, 2013 | 5 / 5 (3) | 1
A University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist who is an expert on the avian flu virus is under federal scrutiny because of concerns his new research may fall into the wrong hands.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Dec 19, 2011 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
A bus driver in southern China who contracted the bird flu virus died Saturday, health authorities said, in the nation's first reported human case of the deadly disease in 18 months.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Dec 31, 2011 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
About two dozen - see section below
Birds (class Aves) are winged, bipedal, endothermic (warm-blooded), vertebrate animals that lay eggs. There are around 10,000 living species, making them the most numerous tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Birds range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) Bee Hummingbird to the 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in) Ostrich. The fossil record indicates that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic period, around 150–200 Ma (million years ago), and the earliest known bird is the Late Jurassic Archaeopteryx, c 155–150 Ma. Most paleontologists regard birds as the only clade of dinosaurs that survived the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event approximately 65.5 Ma.
Modern birds are characterised by feathers, a beak with no teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a lightweight but strong skeleton. All birds have forelimbs modified as wings and most can fly, with some exceptions including ratites, penguins, and a number of diverse endemic island species. Birds also have unique digestive and respiratory systems that are highly adapted for flight. Some birds, especially corvids and parrots, are among the most intelligent animal species; a number of bird species have been observed manufacturing and using tools, and many social species exhibit cultural transmission of knowledge across generations.
Many species undertake long distance annual migrations, and many more perform shorter irregular movements. Birds are social; they communicate using visual signals and through calls and songs, and participate in social behaviours including cooperative breeding and hunting, flocking, and mobbing of predators. The vast majority of bird species are socially monogamous, usually for one breeding season at a time, sometimes for years, but rarely for life. Other species have breeding systems that are polygynous ("many females") or, rarely, polyandrous ("many males"). Eggs are usually laid in a nest and incubated by the parents. Most birds have an extended period of parental care after hatching.
Many species are of economic importance, mostly as sources of food acquired through hunting or farming. Some species, particularly songbirds and parrots, are popular as pets. Other uses include the harvesting of guano (droppings) for use as a fertiliser. Birds figure prominently in all aspects of human culture from religion to poetry to popular music. About 120–130 species have become extinct as a result of human activity since the 17th century, and hundreds more before then. Currently about 1,200 species of birds are threatened with extinction by human activities, though efforts are underway to protect them.
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