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Re: Way cool kagu
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- Subject: Re: Way cool kagu
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- Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 11:11:20 -0600
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On 8/5/2013 12:53 AM, Tim Williams wrote:
Yesterday, quite by accident, I caught a nature documentary called
"South Pacific" (BBC, 2009). It featured some marvelous footage of
the kagu - a weird flightless bird on New Caledonia, mentioned by GSP
recently. The kagu's crest of feathers, as well as the wings, were
used in an elaborate courtship display. The wings were also used in a
threat posture to scare off a predator (New Caledonian crow) that had
its eye on a kagu chick nesting on the forest floor. As well as
making the bird seem larger, the wing feathers are decorated to make
the bird more intimidating.
On a related note, the Peahen Cam, with video
Scientists in the US have used eye-tracking cameras to work out exactly
what peahens find alluring in a peacock's tail fan.
The male birds grow their trains of iridescent feathers during the
mating, or lekking, season, fanning them out and rattling them to
attract a mate.
Rather than looking up at the high crescent of the fan above the
peacock's head, the eye-trackers revealed that females looked primarily
at the lower portions of the train.
"From the head down was where most of their gaze was directed," said Dr
"The peahens often looked from side-to-side across the bottom portion of
the train, suggesting that they were gauging the width of the train."