[CT Birds] Imperial Cormorant and Passenger Pigeon adaptations.

Arthur Shippee ashippee at snet.net
Fri Nov 17 21:40:13 EST 2017

Two interesting articles in the NYTimes:  Cormorant necks in cold water, and masses of Passenger Pigeons, as selective adaptations.  Good night!


Same Oceans, Similar Prey, Two Very Different Necks

"It was a question that dogged biologists, Agustina Gómez-Laich recalls: Why the neck?  Imperial cormorants, lanky, long-necked creatures that live on the southern coasts of Argentina and Chile, spend much of their time immersed in the frigid waters of the ocean. They dive to chilly depths — in the colony Dr. Gómez-Laich studies, up to 80 meters, or 240 feet — to hunt fish.  But the cormorants have neighbors: Magellanic penguins. Their stout, well-insulated bodies seem like a much better choice for hunting in this unforgiving environment, while the slender, exposed necks of cormorants are like gloveless hands in January."  ....

Great pictures of nesting colonies.


A Population of Billions May Have Contributed to This Bird’s Extinction.  By  STEPH YIN  <https://www.nytimes.com/by/steph-yin>NOV. 16, 2017.  This might have made the pigeons particularly well-suited for living in dense flocks, but unable to cope with living in sparse groups once their numbers started to plummet, the authors suggest.

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