Woodpeckers at risk from headbanging
WOODPECKERS show signs of brain damage in spite of evolution, said scientists yesterday.
Nature’s headbangers can tolerate impacts 14 times harder than those which would knock out a man.
But they suffer a build-up of proteins associated with brain damage.
Boston University found “far more” tau protein in woodpecker brains than blackbirds. Tau can lead to dementia.
Study co-author Peter Cummings said the birds date back 25 million years and may have ways to cope.
The research, in the journal Plos One, was seeking ways to improve sports helmets.