Word of the day: corvine


adj. Of or like a raven or crow, especially in color.

imageImage: Raven croak by Franco Atirador. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

A little vocab for your Thursday. Pair your new verbiage with this very corvine TEDx Talk on the surprising intelligence of crows from avian researcher John Marzluff at TEDxRainier. Watch the whole thing here»

Bonus: Hacker Joshua Klein and his crow thought experiment at TED2008.

How did feathers evolve? A TED-Ed animation explores.

When you think about it, feathers are pretty amazing. The most complex integumentary structures (y’know — integumentary — stuff like skin, hair, scales, hooves) found in vertebrates, feathers have graced the bodies of animals since the age of dinosaurs, evolving to assist in taking flight, wicking off water, and looking fly for the ladies.

In an animated lesson crafted by TEDxDeExtinction host and National Geographic writer Carl Zimmer, TED-Ed sheds some light on feather evolution — from dinos to ducks. Check it out below:

(Photos: Top, L-R: eahgra, elston; Middle: vindoe40; Bottom, L-R: kayaker1204, indigoskies)