What Are Woodpeckers Doing to Their Brains?

Woodpecker brains preserved in ethanol feel a bit like modeling clay.

That’s according to George Farah, a graduate student at Boston University School of Medicine who scooped the brains out of downy woodpecker specimens stored at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

“Some were like angel food cake, it’s together but can easily be broken; it can easily fracture,” says Farah. “I have a lot of experience with preserved brains.”

Farah, along with his Boston University colleag

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