Study: Feathers are telling of a bird's health

01/23/2013 | ScienceMag.org

The feather patterns on a red-legged partridge's chest can single-handedly reveal whether the bird is healthy or malnourished, scientists have discovered. Researchers point to a single calculation, called the fractal dimension, which is linked to the bird's health, according to findings published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Malnourished birds in the experiment featured a lower fractal dimension in the feather patterns on their chests, while healthy birds had a higher number.

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