This species of songbird has some smooth moves you can't even see with your own eyes.
The blue-capped cordon-bleu is a type of finch native to East Africa. They are pretty tiny, only around three inches high, but it turns out they have quite the dynamic courtship ritual.
Scientists have known for a while that the birds have a mating dance of sorts involving bobbing and singing, but only recently did they discover that there's a lot more to this dance than they realized. Researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan were curious about the source of the rhythmic sounds they heard while the finches were courting so they filmed the birds with high-speed video cameras. When they played the footage back and slowed time down, they were shocked to find that each bird was doing a tap dance that was completely invisible to the human eye at normal speed. The videos also revealed that the dances became more intense, the closer the birds were to each other.
Watch this video to see these amazing moves for yourself. I'm guessing even Fred Astaire would be impressed.
Here's some more geek from the week:
- Eel scientists have finally experimentally confirmed that American eels really do spawn in the Sargasso Sea.
- If you are intrigued by the image of "what a dolphin sees" that's been circulating, read this important caveat.
- Why do bananas make other fruit ripen faster? Turns out they're gassy.
- Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have used 3D printers to print cells that can self-assemble into working blood vessels. [VIDEO]
- A Boston artist used tissue engineering to grow an ear from cells donated by Vincent van Gogh's brother's great-great-grandson.
- Geologist have recently figured out how strange stone column formations south of Mammoth Lakes might have formed.
- Researchers in the U.K. think they have located the quarry used for Stonehenge's smaller "bluestones" in Wales.
- This video of a golf ball hit into a steel plate at 150mph will BLOW YOUR MIND. [VIDEO]
- Star Wars had hand build models instead of CGI. Check out an elaborate collection of them here.
- Recall those bright white spots NASA's Dawn spacecraft spotted on Ceres? Most likely they are large salt deposits.
- NASA scientists have created a stunning computer model that visualizes how carbon dioxide is transported around in Earth's atmosphere. [VIDEO]
Keep on geeking!
@Summer_Ash, In-house Astrophysicist