Navigation Links
Ohio University researchers discover evolutionary oddity in flamingos

With their spindly legs, long necks and bright plumage, flamingos are a curiosity of nature. Now a new discovery by a team of Ohio University researchers reveals an anatomical oddity that helps flamingos eat: erectile tissue.

Flamingos are known for their peculiar feeding behavior. While standing in shallow water, they bend their necks, tilt their bills upside down in the water and swish their heads from side-to-side. Their large tongue acts like a piston, sucking water into the front of the bill and then pushing it out the sides. Fringed plates on the tongue trap algae and crustaceans in the circulating water.

"The flamingos' feeding habits have captured people's curiosity for ages, but that wasn't the original focus of our research," said Casey Holliday, who recently earned a doctorate in biological sciences from Ohio University and served as lead author on the study. "We were investigating the evolution of jaw muscles in lizards, birds and dinosaurs. By sheer luck we discovered something new about flamingos."

To get a detailed look at the flamingo's jaw muscle structure, the researchers injected a colored barium/latex mixture into the blood vessels of a bird that had died and was donated by the Brevard Zoo in Florida. A 3-D view of the bird's head was created using a new computed tomography (CT) scanning technique developed by the Ohio University team that highlights blood vessel anatomy. The researchers noticed large oval masses of erectile tissue located on the floor of the mouth on either side of the tongue.

"No one ever anticipated finding something like this, and now we're scratching our heads trying to understand the role these tissues play," said Lawrence Witmer, a professor of anatomy in Ohio University's College of Osteopathic Medicine who directed the study.

The researchers know that when the erectile tissues fill with blood, they stiffen, strengthening and supporting the floor of the mouth. "We sus pect this stabilizes the mouth and tongue and helps with the peculiar way that flamingos eat," he said. "It's an important new piece of the puzzle of flamingo feeding--frankly, a piece we hadn't known was missing!"
'"/>

Source:Ohio University


Related biology news :

1. University of Manchester makes made-to-measure skin and bones a reality using inkjet printers
2. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
3. Next Generation Body Scanner Launched By The University Of Manchester
4. Roundup®highly lethal to amphibians, finds University of Pittsburgh researcher
5. Green catalyst destroys pesticides and munitions toxins, finds Carnegie Mellon University
6. University of Nevada, Reno research team discovers hormone that causes malaria mosquito to urinate
7. Carnegie Mellon University research reveals how cells process large genes
8. University of Delaware researchers develop cancer nanobomb
9. University of Arizona plant scientists to unravel maize genome
10. Team led by Carnegie Mellon University scientist finds first evidence of a living memory trace
11. University of Utah to help build bionic arm

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/15/2016)... , December 15, 2016 Arvato ... an agreement with NuData Security, an award-winning international ... will enable clients to focus on good customer experience, balancing ... regulation. ... In order to provide a one-stop fraud prevention suite, Arvato ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... 2016  There is much more to innovative access ... engine. Continental will demonstrate the intelligence of today,s solutions ... . Through the combination of the keyless entry and ... elements, the international technology company is opening up new ... "The integration of biometric elements brings our ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- Singulex, Inc., the leader in Next Generation Immunodiagnostics powered ... and supply agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world ... to Thermo Scientific BRAHMS PCT (Procalcitonin), a biomarker which, ... diagnose systemic bacterial infection and sepsis and in ... assessing the risk of critically ill patients for progression ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... GAITHERSBURG, Md. , Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a privately-held immunotherapeutics company targeting infectious diseases, announced ... the merger of PharmAthene and Altimmune in an ... Fund, HealthCap, Truffle Capital and Redmont Capital. The ... immunotherapeutics company with four clinical stage and one ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider ... world, was today awarded the "Best Science & Technology Social Networking Service 2016" ... decided upon by a dedicated team of researchers and analysts. , The 2016 ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017  Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: ... personalized immune therapies for operable and inoperable solid tumor ... Chief Technical Officer of NW Bio, will present at ... 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in ... chair the session entitled "New Therapeutic Approaches – Expanding ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , January 18, 2017 According to a new market ... Neuroscience, Cytology, Infectious Disease), & End User (Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories, Academic and Research ... to reach USD 739.9 Million by 2021 from USD 557.1 Million in 2016, ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: