Friday coffee break

To Make a Coffee

Every Friday at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! our contributors pass around links to new scientific results, or science-y news, or videos of adorable wildlife, that they’re most likely to bring up while waiting in line for a latte.

From Devin: In case slicing that bagel isn’t tricky enough for you, how about a mobius bagel?

From Sarah: Superb fairy-wren chicks learn to sing for their supper while they’re still in the egg.

Superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) mothers sing to their unhatched eggs to teach the embryo inside a ‘password’ — a single unique note — which the nestlings must later incorporate into their begging calls if they want to get fed.

The trick allows fairy-wren parents to distinguish between their own offspring and those of the two cuckoo species that frequently invade their nests.

From Noah: The good news is that the spade-t00thed whale isn’t extinct after all. The sad news is that we found this out when a mother and her calf beached and died.

Until now, we’ve only known about the spade-toothed beaked whale from a few bone samples, as no intact specimens have been discovered. This has made identifying the species extremely complicated.

And from Jeremy: A captive cockatoo at a research station in Austria has started making tools to pull cashews into his aviary. And there’s video: