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PhysOrg

Woodpeckers show signs of possible brain damage, but that might not be a bad thing

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With woodpeckers, the answer's in the question—true to their name, they peck wood. And when they do, they peck hard—with each peck, the bird undergoes a force of 1,200 to 1,400 g's. By comparison, a measly force of 60-100 g's can give a human a concussion. The fact that a woodpecker can undergo fourteen times that without getting hurt has led helmet makers model their designs around these birds' skulls. However, a new study in PLOS ONE complicates this story by showing that woodpecker brains contain build-ups of a protein associated with brain damage in humans.

 

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