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Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Unread post by Snoobab » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:39 am

I was watching one of those animal channels last night they had a true or false question. The question was about Woodpeckers having an Ear at the tip of their tounge to enable them to hear for grub. They then said it was true :shock: This is the first I've heard of this. I did not have time to read up on it but has anyone else heard of this and is it true ?

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Re: Woodpeckers

Unread post by Imberbe » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:08 pm

No it's not true and yes it is true!


In other words, typically TV, they took a fact and twisted it to sound better!

Vibrations travel better through solid objects than through air. Many animals use this fact to their advantage! I.e. snakes that "feel" the vibrations of a person approaching through his body that is lying on the ground, and even elephant that can feel the vibrations of another elephants infra sound, through his feet and trunk that is touching the ground.

Some woodpeckers will insert their tongue in to a hole to "listen" for grubs. What actually happens is that by pushing the tongue against the solid wood, the vibrations the grubs makes, is transferred through the wood, through the tongue, to the birds ear. The same principle applies to some birds bills.

More often though the tongue and the bill is simply used to feel for possible prey.
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Re: Woodpeckers

Unread post by Jock » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:18 am

Wow, that is really interesting. I have learnt something new today. :thumbs_up:
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