Soaring Sacs

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

“The evolutionary story here couldn’t be clearer,” Moore said. “Our data indicate that the SPD only evolves in birds that soar, and did so at least seven times independently across distantly related soaring lineages. So, whether you’re looking at a Western gull, a turkey vulture, a sooty shearwater, a bald eagle, or a brown pelican, they’ve all got an SPD that improves their ability to soar.”

An air-filled sac within birds’ lungs is believed to modify mechanics of flight while soaring

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