16 June 2012
Bird sings song with heavy wings
By Alejandra Martins
Reporter, BBC Nature
The club-winged manakin has "densely mineralized
bones" says lead researcher Kim Bostwick
The only bird known to sing with its wings contains some secrets of its performance in its bones, researchers have found.
The club-winged manakin, which lives in the cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador, performs a mate-attracting song by rubbing its wings together.
A Cornell University team from the US scanned its bones.
They found unlike most birds, it has dense, solid wing bones that help it to emit a violin-like sound.
Lead researcher Kim Bostwick, curator of birds and mammals at the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, and her colleagues carried out CT scans of manakin wings.
These revealed that, while most birds have hollow wing bones, the club-winged manakin's are "bulky and solid". (...)
Full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/18461623