It’s a magpie! It’s a vulture! No, it’s a bald crow!

This is the seventh post in the series Specimen tales Anand Krishnan writes ~ In continuation of the last post’s theme of evolutionarily “odd” birds, we will, in this post, discuss another family of paradoxical birds, this time from the rainforests of West and Central Africa. The Picathartidae, or rockfowl, comprise two species found in the Lower and Upper Guinean rainforests of Africa, where they nest in small colonies on rock surfaces such as cave walls (hence the common name). The scientific name Picathartes is literally a portmanteau of Pica (magpie) and Cathartes (vulture), which goes to show just how confusing … Continue reading It’s a magpie! It’s a vulture! No, it’s a bald crow!

The story of a birth and a death, told through fossils

This is the second post in the series – The Himalayas The aim of the series is to give a short introduction to the history, ecology and conservation issues in the Himalayas. Follow links to read more. Priya Tamma writes ~ Standing at the top of the mountains around the Spiti valley, my friend recalls being flushed with excitement. At these highest parts of the Himalayas, it’s a breathtaking panorama – wide open valleys and snow clad mountains, clear cold winds and a blue sky envelop you. But it was not the beauty that was making my friend excited. ‘Fossils’, … Continue reading The story of a birth and a death, told through fossils