"Well, Mark My Bird!" - How You Can Get Involved in Some Science This Week

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By studying different bird bills Darwin was able to figure out his theory of evolution, and today you can get involved in carrying on his tradition with the "Mark My Bird" project.

At the university of Sheffield a team of researchers are in the process of making 3D scans of the bills of 'all the world's' bird species. These, you'll probably be happy to know, are from museum collections and stuffed (less chance of Hitchcockian shenanigans being inflicted on the poor researchers that way). 

While they are hard at work gathering this huge data set, there is still a lot that needs doing in order to get it to a stage where it is usable and can be properly studied. What is currently missing is landmarking, and it is here that the university is turning to science-fans to crowdsource some help.

Landmarking places points on each feature of the bill that all specimens have in common. By analysing how these landmarks change from species to species in a mathematical way you all of a sudden have an illuminating tool at your hands.

Of course this takes time and, as the old saying goes "many hands make light work." Even if you spend only a few minutes mapping these points, you'll be contributing to a worthy cause.

Want to give it a go? Check out the website here.

Heck, they even have their own twitter, so go forth and tweet! They could use all the help they can get.

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