Posted by: soniahs | July 11, 2011

Links: real angry birds and rabbit evolution

Some recent links:

First, can the insanely popular Angry Birds game get people into birding? The folks at 10,000 Birds point out some real-life angry birds:

First is a small bird that is almost universally described as cute.  This might explain its anger.  Or perhaps it is angry because it is called a Bushtit.  And, no, I am not kidding about the name.  If you were referred to as “Bushtit” wouldn’t you be angry too?

Just yesterday, I watched a pair of Northern Mockingbirds repeatedly dive-bomb a Red-Shouldered Hawk, who was trying to hide in a tree in our apartment complex. Yes, there are dramatic examples of angry birds out there. Here’s a Cooper’s Hawk who’s apparently unable to comprehend that this is not a real owl in its territory (via):


Next, Daren Naish takes a look at lagomorph evolution- the family that includes rabbits- in light of a recent discovery of a giant fossil lagomorph on the island of Minorca. Here’s an artist’s depiction of the species, Nuralagus rex. Note the European Rabbit for comparison:

Artist's conception of Nuralagus rex. (Image: Meike Köhler, via National Geographic)

In his post (“You have your giant fossil rabbit neck all wrong“- and that is an awesome title!), he discusses the lack of study that’s been done on lagomorph phyolgeny, as well as addressing the title of his post. Check out his discussion if you’re interested in lagomorph evolution (and not just adorable bunny antics).


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