Sunday, February 06, 2011

As if being a birdbrain isn't bad enough

Here's a disturbing article about birds around Chernobyl. They appear to have smaller brains than birds that aren't growing up in a radioactive area.

The story says that young birds' brains are five percent smaller than they should be and this is an indication that many birds are dying while still embryos. Mammal and insect life has also declined in the area.

Aside from the terrible news there's an interesting fact that I hadn't heard before - birds can shrink their organs as needed. (The brains are the last to go, which means these birds are really stressed.) I wonder of dinosaurs could do the same thing or if this is a more recent development.



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