The Epic Boom and Bust of the Ostrich Feather Market

by Kelly Jensen Kelly Jensen Digital Collections Specialist, California Academy of Sciences, gives one of five Shift Ignite talks earlier this year at the Shift Forum. A fascinating tale of tulip-mania (but with feathers!), this five-minute Ignite talk reminds us all what happens when social behaviors rapidly change. Kelly Jensen: Hi, I’m Kelly Jensen. I’m …

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African penguins are dying because they can’t find fish

Katrin Ludynia, University of Cape Town and Richard Sherley, University of Exeter When young African penguins leave their nests for the first time they do so alone, without any guidance from their parents. They need to use their instinct to follow cues in their environment to find food and stay alive in their first months …

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The reason Africa’s migratory songbirds sing out of season

Marjorie Sorensen, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main and Claire Spottiswoode, University of Cambridge Bird song has fascinated scientists for decades. Songs can be intricate, loud and, as it turns out, very important for reproductive success. In many species the males with the most complex songs secure the highest quality breeding territories and mates, and end …

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Sights set to understand bird movements across Africa

Samuel Temidayo Osinubi, University of Cape Town A great deal of attention has been given to how, why and where birds migrate between continents. But the complexities of migratory movements restricted to one continental land mass have largely been overlooked. Efforts are being stepped up to harmonise conservation action between and within continents. In 2011 …

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African gamebirds: key to understand global avian evolution

Tim Crowe, University of Cape Town This article is a foundation essay. These are longer than usual and take a wider look at a key issue affecting society. Africa is an evolutionary cradle of bird-kind for at least of one of its major evolutionary branches, the gamebirds. Around 290 gamebird species form the Galliformes – …

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