We may think of pigeons as "flying rats," but research published today in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that their wild counterparts were an important source of nutrition for some Neanderthals.
All emu poo is not created equal. Hoot, one of the science communication triad at BuzzHootRoar, explains, "it turns out that emus are pretty good at helping seeds spread around by scarfing down fruits and plant material and plopping out fertilized seed cakes all over the land."
Because of its extreme isolation from any other major landmass, New Zealand's unique native ecosystem is literally for the birds. And these rather elegant-looking penguins briefly dominated this bird paradise, back when New Zealand was mostly underwater.
This is the northern wheatear, a tiny insect-eating Arctic bird. Every year, half of the species travels 4,500 miles over Greenland, across the Atlantic, and down through Europe to reach western Africa. And the other half's journey is even more insane.
The human brain is arguably the most powerful machine in the known universe, its inner workings an profound, impenetrable mystery. Except when it comes to remembering things. In that case, it's basically the same thing as a bird finding dinner.
To attract females, male great bowerbirds of Australia build huge, elaborate structures called bowers. They're impressive structures, complete with courtyard and triumphal arch. But the males also use forced perspective to make themselves look more impressive to prospective mates.
The latest State of Observed Species report is out. And biologists might have just earned the title of Hardest-Working People in Science, discovering a staggering 19,232 species in just one year, including nearly 10,000 new types of insects.
Kestrels and jackdaws are natural enemies. Jackdaws are scavengers that will gladly steal and eat kestrel eggs, while kestrels are aggressive birds that will fight anybody. And yet, somehow, these two would-be foes have carved out a shockingly efficient truce.
Animals that magically transform under the full moon is purely the stuff of myths and legends, but the full moon does make some animals dramatically change their behavior. For the Barau's petrel, that's when they suddenly become romantic.
Many animals sacrifice for the sake of their children, but red crossbills are on another level entirely. Crossbills with kids have dangerously low stress hormone levels compared to their childless couples...all to make sure they don't suddenly abandon their nest.
If you're walking in the woods, you're probably going to get more annoyed by a loud, screeching bird call than a soft, complex birdsong. But dark-eyed juncos are just the opposite. These birds will find and fight their soft-singing peers.
The Pacific and Atlantic horn snails were once the same species, until a land bridge blocked their path between oceans. But genetics suggest these snails still interbred long after they were cut off from each other. How? Thanks to the snail-eating birds.
Migrating thousands of miles every year requires insane amounts of energy. But that's still nothing compared to the amount of water birds need to remain hydrated... and the drastic steps birds take to find all that water.
Dark-eyed junco birds are one of many species that practices monogamy...to a point. While a male and female are pair-bonded - the junco equivalent of marriage - both partners will take on additional partners in the name of better genetics.
The male Houbara bustard of North Africa is one of the animal kingdom's most extravagant creatures, with huge ornamental feathers and complex, energetic mating practices known as "booming." But all that booming has dire consequences for their actual reproductive chances.
For most of us, being devoured by something many times bigger than us would mean a gruesome, agonizing death. But for tiny snails, it's just a minor irritation...and a quick and disgustingly clever way to migrate elsewhere.
It turns out crows aren't the only birds with fiendishly powerful memories. Pigeons are also capable of spontaneously remembering which humans mistreated them, and even an attempt to disguise the identity of their one-time abuser can't fool them.
The white-ruffed manakin of Costa Rica is a partially migratory bird, meaning each year it decides whether to stay in its natural habitat or fly elsewhere. But choosing to migrate can have serious consequences for their dating life back home.
There's a popular theory that bird and mammal evolution kicked into high gear after the dinosaurs went extinct. But now it turns out lice were already diversifying long before the dinosaurs died out.
Cuckoos don't bother building their own nests - they just lay eggs that perfectly mimic those of other birds and take over their nests. But other birds are wising up, evolving some seriously impressive tricks to spot the cuckoo eggs.