Math for hungry birds

Seabird traces patterns while searching for food

By Stephen Ornes, 11:00 AM May 19, 2012

People may say that math is for the birds. A new study shows this may be true, at least for a giant seabird called an albatross.

A team of scientists in Europe recently studied the flights of these large birds as they hunted for food. The scientists did not observe the birds adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing. But when the researchers looked at the shapes traced by the birds’ flights, the formations looked familiar.

The twists and turns of the flight path looked a lot like a fr...

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