Fly Away Home: How Birds Evolve with Automobile Traffic

Those that learn, earn their place. It seems that even birds are taking this survival of the fittest motto to heart in a new unique way. A study has recently yielded that birds may be learning from each other about our speed demon tendencies. The truth is, I vaguely remember the last time I saw roadkill on the highway during my commute to work. Even so, reportedly:

An estimated 80 million birds are killed by colliding with vehicles on U. S. roads each year, and millions more die annually in Europe and elsewhere.

Yes, those numbers do seem ridiculously high, but there may be hope for our little companions that fly near our speedy death machines. Researchers Charles R. Brown and Mary Bomberger Brown in Nebraska found that although the swallow population increased over their 30 year study period, the death by vehicle fatality of swallows sharply decreased from 1983 to 2012. Swallows tend to learn from their neighbors, which is a trait shared by many animals, and natural instinct may be evolving in species to guide them away from human dangers.

The study also mentions that the birds living near highways have, through a possible natural selection, evolved to have smaller wingspans for quicker movements vertically in the air allowing for a zippy escape from oncoming traffic. If a bird with a larger wingspan decided to fly into traffic, it would have a harder time flying directly up and away from danger than its smaller counterpart because of the lower wing loading of longer wings.

What does it all mean? Is mother nature preparing against human interaction? Have we affected our animal neighbors so much that they have to develop an internal mechanism to evolve with our advancing technology? What happens when we start hovering from place to place? Will the animals adapt to our flight? Or will we simply find more animals mourning each other’s deaths as humans continue to evolve?

At least it is nice to know that humans get the respect they deserve. I wonder what else we can passively bend to our will!

 

Research:

Where Has Roadkill Gone

Wing Loading

Wondergressive – Cannabis Cures Cancer

Wondergressive – Birds Mourn Death

Wondergressive – Blimps are the Future!

Wondergressive – The Folly of High Speed Rail in America

The Great Vitamin D-Ficiency!

Dear Chicagoan,

Stop Getting Sick!

Yours Truly,

Your Immune System.

 

This of course does not solely pertain to Chicagoans; any of you city slickers with those dark and snowy winters, those gloomy and menacing falls, and those extended rainy stormy weeks, are likely ignoring your immune system’s desperate cry for help. What am I doing wrong you may ask? What can I do when there is no sun to power me!? Even Superman was weak without the sun!

Start taking your vitamin D supplements people! Especially in the winter. Vitamin D deficiency is very commonly caused by a lack of sunlight during that dreaded FLU SEASON. A study by R. Edgar Hope-Simpson, a British family practice doctor, found that:

During the summer months in both hemispheres, influenza is virtually nonexistent. Aside from the flu, the common cold, which is actually a variety of more than 200 different viruses, also has a peak during the winter months.

Pish posh! I am 10 times the man I am during the winter period than the hot summertime! Look how efficiently I plow the snow and create icy sculptures with ease! I don’t need any supplements… John J. Cannell, MD, who heads the nonprofit Vitamin D Council, says otherwise:

Ninety-five percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D — that’s how big the problem is

Ahh but there are always critics in the world of modern medicine. Why would anything natural and recurring in nature ever be good for you? All we need is antibiotics and drugs and we can solve the world’s problems! An article titled Trying to Avoid a Cold? Skip the Vitamin D Supplements, goes in detail describing how a study in New Zealand, not America, produced results that leave the reader questioning the validity of vitamin D benefits. Yet it notes that those deficient in vitamin D would still likely benefit from supplements. Look up to statistic… a flurry of brain synapses going off will ensue. For a time there was vitamin D hype, which brought on vitamin D hate, and now it is not even mentioned anymore. We can ride the news roller coaster and listen to the media until we are all completely confused about everything, even ourselves.

So how much should I take? Will I get poisoned from too much vitamin D?

The Vitamin D Council recommends that children take 1,000 IU and adults take 5,000 IU when not exposed to sunlight regularly. In order to reach a state of toxicity with vitamin D, one would have to consume over 40,000 IU in supplements for over two months! I have heard as little as 600 IU should be taken and if taken in excess of 1,000 IU then you risk toxicity. Boy do they steer us wrong about supplements, or as some call it, voodoo magic.

A little late, why didn’t you tell me this earlier!? Well better late then never.. SO! If it’s the summer time or spring time and you are actively soaking in your rays, safely of course without overexposure to damaging UV rays, then don’t sweat the vitamin D supplements as much! But if you do not eat vitamin D rich foods and you are prone to sickness and easily contract a flu during that dreaded FLU SEASON, do your immune system a solid and pop a supplement every now and then. Your body will repay you with longevity, energy, and a solid ‘D’ against that flu enemy!

Before you go off to do what you were going to do, which is of course to read that AWESOME Wondergressive article on how Cannabis Cures Cancer, here is a list of ailments that Jack Challem, the author of more than 20 books on nutrition and a member of the American Society for Nutrition, put together for those deficient in vitamin D:

• Allergies. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a greater risk of allergies, such as to pollens.

• Back pain. Many studies have shown that in patients with chronic lower-back pain, vitamin D supplements led to either a partial or complete elimination of pain.

• Fibromyalgia. Low vitamin D levels are typical in this disease, and boosting vitamin D reduces symptoms.

• Heart disease. Low vitamin D levels are associated with up to a 50 percent higher risk of heart attack.

• Mental health. Low wintertime vitamin D levels may be a factor in seasonal affective disorder (that is, seasonal depression), as well as in schizophrenia.

• Multiple sclerosis. The risk of multiple sclerosis increases progressively in populations living at latitudes farther from the equator. A growing body of research suggests that adequate vitamin D might slow its progression, at least in the early stages of MS.

• Skin cancer. Some research suggests that for certain populations, vitamin D, in combination with sun exposure or calcium supplementation, might offer some protection against skin cancer.

• Type 2 diabetes. Considerable research indicates that vitamin D, often in combination with calcium, helps regulate blood sugar and may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

• Vaginal infections. Bacterial vaginosis affects nearly one of every three women. Maintaining normal vitamin D levels might reduce the risk of this type of infection.

Sources:

Jack Challem

Web MD Vitamin D Foods

Web MD Vitamin D Deficiency

CNN Health: Flu Season

Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D

John J. Cannell, MD

Vitamin D Council

Wondergressive: Cannibus Cures Cancer

Anti Vitamin D