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Alpine chough

The Alpine chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus) is a bird in the crow family, one of two species in the genus Pyrrhocorax. Its two subspecies breed in high mountains from Spain east through southern Europe and North Africa to Central Asia, India and China. It has nested at 6,500 m (21,300 ft), higher than any other bird species, and its eggs have adaptations that improve oxygen intake and reduce water loss at these altitudes. This bird has glossy black plumage, a yellow bill, and red legs. Widely spread flight feathers allow acrobatic manoeuvres. A large bird with distinctive whistling calls, it pairs for life and displays fidelity to its breeding site, usually a cave or crevice in a cliff face. Building a lined stick nest, it lays three to five brown-speckled pale beige eggs. It feeds on fruit in winter and mainly invertebrate prey in grazed grassland in summer. Although some localised populations have declined due to predation, parasitism and changes in agricultural practices, this widespread and abundant species is not threatened globally. Climate change may present a long-term threat by shifting the bird's alpine habitat even higher. (Full article...)

Part of the Chough series, one of Wikipedia's featured topics.

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Kaushiki Chakraborty
Kaushiki Chakraborty

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Von Miller in 2011
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Andrea Ghez
Andrea Ghez

The Crafoord Prize is an annual science prize established in 1980 by Holger Crafoord, a Swedish industrialist, and his wife Anna-Greta Crafoord. Administered by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the prize is awarded in four categories: astronomy and mathematics; geosciences; biosciences, with particular emphasis on ecology; and polyarthritis, the disease from which Holger severely suffered in his last years. Only one award is given each year, according to a rotating scheme – astronomy and mathematics; then geosciences; then biosciences. The recipient of the Crafoord Prize is announced each year in mid-January; on Crafoord Day in April, the prize is presented by the King of Sweden, who also presents the Nobel Prizes at the ceremony in December. The prize money is intended to fund further research by the winner. The inaugural winners, Vladimir Arnold and Louis Nirenberg, were cited by the Academy for their work in the field of non-linear differential equations. The first woman to be awarded the prize was astronomer Andrea Ghez (pictured) in 2012. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Sega Mega Drive Sega GenesisSega Master System and Genesis and

The Sega Mega Drive (top), known as the Genesis (bottom) in North America, is a 16-bit home video game console developed and sold by Sega Enterprises, Ltd. Using hardware adapted from Sega's System 16 arcade board, it was first released in 1988 and supported a library of more than 900 games. Though sales were poor in Japan, the system achieved considerable success in North America, Brazil, and Europe. The release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System two years after the Genesis resulted in a fierce battle for market share in the United States and Europe that has often been termed as a "console war" by journalists and historians.

Photograph: Evan Amos

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