Somewhere in the American Southwest or northern Mexico, there are probably the ruins of a scarlet macaw breeding operation dating to between 900 and 1200 C.E., according to a team of archaeologists who sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of bird remains found in the Chaco Canyon and Mimbres areas of New Mexico.
Fruit flies don't appear to use their tiny, translucent wings for optimal flight, as one might expect. The speedy appendages seem to be doing double duty, helping the insect sniff out food, mates and other important scents, according to new research.
Songbirds can acquire new abilities both through observation and through trial and error. However, skills acquired with the latter method are more easily adapted to new situations, as scientists have been able to demonstrate. The researchers also see parallels to how children learn.