Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Butterflies, clicking antelopes, creatures of the deep and more

A study shows that cabbage white butterflies with their hindwings removed could fly as far and as high as before. (JoeLena / iStockPhoto)


Swainsons thrust
(Cheryl Carlin)
Name: Catharus ustulatus, or Swainson's thrush.
Summers: In Canada and the northern United States.
Winters: In Mexico and South America.
Flies: By night, at least when migrating.
Sleeps: Surreptitiously. Scientists have long wondered how migrating birds, after flying all night, apparently make it through the day without sleeping. A new study of brain waves among captive Swainson's thrushes suggests they drowse with their eyes open; nap for mere seconds; and doze with one eye open, resting one side of their brain at a time. They could be catnapping while watching out for the cat.

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