Why Woodpeckers Don’t Get Stuck to Trees

When you hammer a nail into a tree or a block of wood, it stays there. That’s how nails are useful to us. Now consider the woodpecker. A woodpecker drives its beak into a tree with the force of a hammer, but then immediately pulls the beak out to hammer again. You’ve probably never thought about that before, but scientists have, and by slowing downside close-up footage of a woodpecker in action, they’ve figured out how they do it.

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Once the tip of the woodpecker’s bill hits the wood, the bird’s head rotates to the side ever so slightly, lifting the top part of the beak and twisting it a bit in the other direction, the videos reveal. This pull opens the bill a tiny amount and creates free space between the beak tip and the wood at the bottom of the punctured hole, so the bird can then easily retract its beak.

-via Boing Boing

Source: neatorama

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