[Tweeters] Of Onions and Cormorants

Jim McCoy jfmccoy at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 18 12:45:40 PDT 2007

Firstly, I'd like to defend the Onion, which originated at the U. of 
Wisconsin and prints pure satire.  Their stuff can be very funny, if you 
like that sort of thing.  I do, including the story in question.

As for cormorant weights, I think it's entirely plausible that Pelagic 
Cormorants (PECO) really are heavier than Double-crested (DCCO), though I'm 
certainly not claiming such.  Most diving birds are denser than their 
dabbling counterparts, since they need ballast to maintain their dives.  If 
the PECO, something of a salt-water specialist, depends on deeper dives than 
its generalist cousin, it might well have evolved denser bones than the 
DCCO.  Of course, flying birds aren't all that heavy to begin with, so it 
probably doesn't take all that much extra bone density for one species to 
outweigh a larger one.

Jim McCoy
Marblehead, MA
jfmccoy at hotmail.com

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