As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Chinese vets’ 3D-printed titanium beak fits the bill for injured red-crowned crane

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 July, 2016, 2:34pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 July, 2016, 10:10pm

Chinese veterinary surgeons have given a red-crowned crane a new beak – made out of titanium using a 3D printer – after its original beak was broken in a fight with another bird, mainland media report.

The bird, which lives in a zoo in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong province, received the upper beak implant during surgery last week at an animal hospital in the province, Xinhua reported.

Some mainland internet users wrote that the crane would become “invincible” in any future fights because of its “Wolverine” beak – a reference to the X-Men mutant superhero with metal claws.

The birds, also known as Japanese cranes, are among the most aggressive native species of Asia, and are often seen using their long, sharp beaks to attack each other, or predators such as eagles.

They have even been known to attack humans.

In 2014, several bird watchers suffered numerous injuries to their bodies and their clothes were damaged after being attacked by an adult red crown crane at a national reserve in Baicheng city, in Jilin province.

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