About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Birds have gone beyond thumbs except in the advertising world

In general, it is easier to lose a trait through evolution than to gain one. Human and other primate hands have five fingers. Birds have three digits in their wings.

Precursor cells that can make a thumb are still there in the bird’s genetic make-up but die off in the egg during development and never produce a thumb in adult birds. Instead the innermost digit of a bird's three-digit wing acts like both a thumb and an index finger.

But what if birds did regress back to having 5 digits? Wonder no more. In a bizarre new advertiser’s world, birds have forsaken their wings for human hands with fingers. Why? So they can text with opposable thumbs instead of pecking out page after page. See video: http://youtu.be/NUGBQkHnWtY