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Study finds parrots use their heads as a 'third limb'


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

No vertebrate (fish, mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian) has ever had an odd number of limbs. Despite this "forbidden phenotype," some animals seem to use other body parts as a third or fifth "limb" to move from one place to another.

For example, while parrots are unable to use their wings for grasping, they climb by extending their heads and grasping branches or other surfaces with their beaks. However, it is unclear whether the head acts as a "third limb" that propels the bird, or if it is simply used for stabilization, with the beak hooking into surfaces for support. In addition, while many studies have highlighted parrots' incredible intelligence, research on their locomotor behavior is almost nonexistent.

Now, for the first time, research from New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) finds that parrots do, in fact, use their head as a propulsive third limb.

https://phys.org/news/2022-05-parrots-limb.html

Study:

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2022.0245

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Oy, scientists can be obtuse.:lol:

Anyone who's spent even a little time around them will have observed this behavior.

C'est la vie.  Scientists like to live indoors and eat, so studies will arise... even obtuse ones.

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