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Pioneers in Science: Rowan and the Junco

4 minutes 54 seconds

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Scientist William Rowan is renowned for his research on the dark-eyed junco. Before Rowan, it was unknown what environmental cues animals used to time the seasonal changes in their biology. Through a groundbreaking experiment with the junco, Rowan discovered the physiological reaction of organisms to the length of day or night. Shot as an historical re-enactment, this segment provides a glimpse into the history and human dimensions of scientific research and reveals one of the first studies that made juncos well-known to biologists. Part of Ordinary Extraordinary Junco (Chapter 1).

Media Details

Runtime: 4 minutes 54 seconds

Still image from: Ordinary Extraordinary Junco: Remarkable Biology From A Backyard Bird!
Ordinary Extraordinary Junco
Episode
1 hour 32 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Bird with white belly, dark back and wings perched on a branch in a thicket. Caption: People are more like birds than we thought.
Ordinary Extraordinary Junco
Episode 1
2 minutes 54 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Man in suit and bowtie with a blackboard behind him. Blackboard shows two sets of birds in cages, one with lights, one without. Caption: This pioneering experiment would make Rowan famous.
Ordinary Extraordinary Junco
Episode 2
4 minutes 54 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
A bird's nest in the ground with a baby bird, beak open. Caption: There will be winners and losers each year.
Ordinary Extraordinary Junco
Episode 3
17 minutes 52 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Map of North and Central America. Different areas of the map are highlighted to indicate the habitat areas and 5 birds are superimposed on the map. The highlighted areas are concentrated in central Mexico, the west coast of the United states, and much of Canada and Alaska. Caption: they changed eye color from yellow to dark.
Ordinary Extraordinary Junco
Episode 4
14 minutes 10 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
A small bird perched on a person's hand. It is gay with some brown on the wings. Caption: It's much more olive-gray, duskier gray on the head.
Ordinary Extraordinary Junco
Episode 5
18 minutes 5 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Bird perched in a tree. Caption: That would be evidence of habitat adaptation.
Ordinary Extraordinary Junco
Episode 6
11 minutes 17 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
A small bird perched on a plank. Caption: Somehow, there was a critical mass action that took off.
Ordinary Extraordinary Junco
Episode 7
15 minutes 54 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Closeup of a bird on a branch. The bird has a light-colored body and a dark head. Caption: where they're evolving right before our eyes,
Ordinary Extraordinary Junco
Episode 8
3 minutes 11 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12