Monday, March 15, 2010

Gender-Bending Chickens and the Bookbirder Report

Grrl Scientist at rest.

GrrlScientist is the pseudonym of a colorful parrot who writes by typing with her beak. A science/nature/bird blogger in flight, at roost she's an evolutionary biologist//ornithologist and freelance science and nature writer from Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Her Ph.D. is in ornithology, and she spent her two-year postdoc reconstructing the molecular phylogeny of parrots of the South Pacific Islands; somebody had to. Devorah Bennu is strictly for the birds. Based upon her profile pic, she appears to be a Yellow-Bibbed Lory (Lorius chlorocerus).

As such, she writes with a brush-tongue full of nectar. I used to keep a Yellow-backed Lory. The little pisher (oh, yes, they squirt) fearlessly attacked my scarlet macaw. The macaw bit off one of the lory's toes; the little squirt still kept fighting. Lories make a sort of weird, BOING!-like vocalization. Grrl Scientist appears to be fearless and makes interesting vocal-sounds in print.

One of her blogs is Maniraptora: Tastes Like Chicken. The most recent egg in her basket is about gender-bending chickens and the evolution of sex discrimination. Don’t ask, just read.

A bilateral gynandromorph: The right side has female
characteristics and left side has male characteristics.

In the rare book trade this is known as a dos-a-dos binding.

Her other blogspot is Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted). Based upon birding legend Edgar Kincaid’s aphoristic Q&A, How does one distinguish a truly civilized nation from an aggregation of barbarians? That is easy. A civilized country produces much good bird literature, she posts the Bookbirder Report, “a special weekly report of a wide variety of science, nature and behavior books that currently are, or soon will be available for purchase.”

Interesting new volumes on birds, small mammals, and tigers are featured in this week’s report, which is actually put together by Ian “Bookbirder” Paulson, who has his own site, The Bookbirder’s Bookcase. a guide to new and upcoming books on birds and natural history.

If books on birds, mammals, nature, science, biology - and, of course, news about gender-bending chickens - are as irresistible to you as they are to me, then these are excellent spots to catch-up on the latest in books on birds, and bird news. You never know what Grrl Scientist will hatch next, and the droppings of "Bookbirder" Paulson are not to be missed.


A Yellow-naped Amazon parrot, not Albert -
who prefers that his picture not be in the papers,
which he considers strictly for deposit only.

Today's post was written by guest columnist, Albert, a thirty-one year old Yellow-naped Amazon parrot who, when not engaging in self-stimulation on my shoulder, enjoys walking on a computer keyboard and astounding me with coherent prose - SJG. 

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