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Bowerbird Matching Game Go to Bowerbird Matching Game

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Bowerbird Matching Game
by Rick Groleau

In 1937, a British scientist remarked that "the display grounds of bowerbirds are one of the strangest and least understood phenomena in nature." The bowerbird certainly is an oddity in the world of nature. The male devotes great effort to building and maintaining a bower, a structure whose sole purpose is to attract females. In his quest for mates, he even adorns his elaborate constructions with colorful objects that range from flowers to shells to insect excrement.

In this feature, you're presented with five bowers. As you match each bower to its male owner and the male to its typically much drabber-looking mate, you'll find out about some of the birds' unusual behaviors.

Flash is a plug-in that allows for increased interactivity. If you can see the animated boxes at left, the plugin is already installed. If you do not see the boxes, you can install the Flash plugin, or select this feature's non-Flash version.

Rick Groleau is managing editor of NOVA Online.

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On the Trail of the Bowerbird | Are Bowers Art? | Creature Courtship
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