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Re: Toucan beaks work as heat regulators

On Fri, Sep 3rd, 2010 at 8:53 AM, Phillip Bigelow <bigelowp@juno.com> wrote:

> From:  _Science Illustrated_ magazine, Sept./Oct. 2010, page 20
> Researchers at Brock University suggest a thermoregulatory function for the 
> Toucan's over-sized
> beak.
> "Biologist Glenn Tattersall used infrared thermal images to show that the 
> Toucan's beak rapidly
> warms when the ambient temperature rises.  The uninsulated surface functions 
> as a radiator,
> pulling heated blood to the surface of the beak and dumping excess heat into 
> the environment. 
> When temperature falls, circulation to the beak is cut off to retain warmth.  
> Brock scientists
> are now investigating if temperature affects the beaks of other bird species 
> during
> development."

Science Illustrated isn't exactly on the cutting-edge of research:



Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj