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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Zoologists have refuted the biggest myth about woodpeckers


In order to get food, woodpecker pecking with her beak and tree trunks, while receiving the loads they would represent a serious health hazard to other creatures. This leads many people to suspect that the woodpeckers, because of certain evolutionary adaptations can’t get a concussion. A recent study conducted by experts from Boston University, showed that in fact it is not.


photo: pixabay.com

Experts have studied the brain of several woodpeckers from various Museum collections and came to the conclusion that their brain contains a lot of Tau proteins, with the greatest concentration is in those areas, which during the blows with its beak on the tree has a maximum load. These proteins are produced in the result of concussion of the brain to protect nerve tissue from further damage. Other animals they bring not only benefits but also harm, however, apparently, woodpeckers Tau proteins do not interfere.

Thus, something like a concussion during the production of food woodpeckers still get, but their body is able to minimize the negative consequences of such injury. In the future, scientists hope to study the nature of this phenomenon later in more detail. The fact that Tau-protein could be one reason for the development of Alzheimer’s disease and some other neurodegenerative diseases. If you understand why woodpeckers like that, obviously, does not apply, it might help sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease people.

The study can better explain exactly how evolution occurred Dyatlov — in some respects it remains a mystery for scientists, because their method of food production is quite difficult to adapt “gradually”.

The experts, who published their study in the journal PLoS One, recall that the woodpeckers have other characteristics that allow these birds to eat such an unusual way. In particular, the special structure of their skulls can alleviate the load during strikes with its beak on the tree.

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