From the Department of Awesome Animal Anatomy comes this post by astronomy-to-zoology about Woodpecker Tongues.“The woodpecker’s tongue can extend 2/3 its body length. Its tongue is covered in sticky saliva and barbs all over with an ear (a hearing mechanism) at the end of it. So it can listen to its prey. It detects sound. The tongue is so long that it fits its tongue in its head by wrapping around its brain and around its eye sockets. It can move its head/beak up to 15-16 times per second as it strikes a tree. This is incredibly fast. It creates immense forces, 250 more times than astronauts are subjected to. It is 1,000 G’s. The woodpecker has cartilage around the brain that keeps it from shattering.”
That’s one impressive tongue.
Learning is awesome!
The Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) is a handsome bird with at least a few nicknames that should give you a hint about why they’re so awesome. Called “Whiskey Jack”, “Camp Robbers” and “Robber Jays”, these bold members of the crow family are well known amongst campers and hikers for behaviour like landing on people’s hands or heads to retrieve morsels of food. But that’s just the beginning. They’ll also take advantage of pretty much any food left unattended, be it on your lap, right beside you, or even in a car with open windows. Sneaky little guys. Then again, we love Goldfish crackers as well, so we can hardly blame them.
Did you really think I wasn’t going to gif this?
Birds of Paradise are kind of the best
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, so the saying goes. But if, like this starling, they’re feeling a bit peckish, it’s not too hard to lure them close. These awesome first-person photographs show how some greedy birds are not afraid to hover and jostle each other to get their claws on a few crumbs from a tasty bread roll.
Russian photographer Aroian Ashot, 39, from Moscow, who shoots under his professional name Alex A. Royal, took these fantastic images of hungry starlings in Kensington Gardens, central London.