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Re: Toucan beaks work as heat regulators
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."
Yeah, this is old news, but interesting nonetheless.
And if you like this work, stay tuned for a forthcoming paper in _Swiss Journal
of Geosciences_, of which the Brock U chap is a co-author, with an application
of this kind of research to dinosaur studies.