Waterbirds’ hunt aided by specialized tail: Swimming birds evolved rudder-like tail to dive for food

The convergent evolution of tail shapes in diving birds may be driven by foraging style. Birds use their wings and specialized tail to maneuver through the air while flying. It turns out that the purpose of a bird’s tail may have also aided in their diversification by allowing them to use a greater variety of foraging strategies. To better understand the relationship between bird tail shape and foraging strategy, researchers examined the tail skeletal structure of over 50 species of waterbirds, like storks, pelicans, and penguins, and shorebirds, like gulls and puffins. They first categorized each species by foraging strategy, …read more

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/~3/1SOzJyBK76Y/140226174546.htm

    

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