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- Life Sciences
The 5,000-Triangle Bird
Here we see an origami artist’s true nightmare — the 5,000-Triangle Bird (or 5KTB, as it’s known to most ornithologists and birdwatchers).
However, both of those names might in fact be misnomers, for scientists are not really certain how many sharply angular three-sided feathers this bird actually has at any one time. Most observers give up counting after about 2,300 or so, and, since a single creature might shed as many as 113 feathers simply by preening for a few moments, it’s hard to really know for sure.
One thing is certain, however. The 5KTB is very well served by its equally sharply angular and quite tough tongue. The bird uses that tongue to safely clean and preen and remove those razor-sharp feathers. (Bird handlers and trappers may not be quite so fortunate; some have come away from an encounter with the 5KTB suffering ‘the death of a thousand cuts’.)
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