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Colorful birds: Exquisite Eggshells and Other Avian Adventures – Thursday Night Nature (Oct. 14)
Birds evolved about 150 million years ago, and today they are the most diverse and colorful land vertebrates. Learn about the fascinating ecological and evolutionary processes that contribute to avian diversity. In the field, professionals are establishing a system for studying color perception in wild hummingbirds in the Rocky Mountains. These tiny iridescent birds lead colorful lives, performing spectacular courtship dives and pollinating diverse wildflowers. This class will also study the avian egg, a remarkable structure that is built to break. The eggs laid by stealthy cuckoos and flightless emus offer insights into avian behavior and evolution.
Mary Caswell (Cassie) Stoddard is an associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. She received her undergraduate degree from Yale University. On a Marshall Scholarship, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge before joining the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. Stoddard is a research affiliate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. She was a 2018 Sloan Research Fellow and is a current Packard Fellow.
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