Research University news

Why birds don’t fall over…and other discoveries from across campus this October

You probably know that Manchester is a research-intensive university. But with so much to juggle in your everyday life, it’s easy to miss much of the weird, wonderful, but above all, excellent research that takes place every day across this place.

So, we thought that each month it would be nice to round up some of our favourite discoveries from University of Manchester researchers.

Here’s October’s:

Conversations are a walk in the park – communication is better outdoors

Working on a group project or just want to talk through your ideas for your next project? Why not take it outside?! A new study has found that conversations are better in natural environments such as parks and gardens than indoors.

Why don’t birds fall over when they jump?

Ever wondered why birds don’t fall over when they jump? No – neither have we. But now researchers have found that by pitching it’s body upwards as it pushes off the ground or a perch a bird maintains stability in one fluid manoeuvre. Here’s a video explaining:

New species of ‘missing link’ between dinosaurs and birds identified

Manchester researchers, as part of an International team, have identified a new species of Archaeopteryx, known as the ‘Icon of Evolution’ the ‘missing link’. The team says that this individual Archaeopteryx fossil is physically much closer to a modern bird than it is to a reptile.

Slowest ever pulsar star discovered by PhD student

A PhD Student, based at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and part of an international team, has discovered the ‘slowest-spinning’ pulsar aged approximately 14 million years old.

Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars that produce electromagnetic radiation in beams that emanate from their magnetic poles. These “cosmic lighthouses” are born when a massive star explodes in a supernova. After such an explosion, a super-dense spinning “neutron star” is left behind with a diameter of only about 20 kilometres.

Book reveals exquisite and detailed map of Victorian Manchester

Ever wondered how much Manchester has changed over the years? Researchers from The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University have launched a fascinating new book which uses maps and plans to outline the history of one the world’s most iconic cities.