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14. Bar-tailed Godwit-Vyn-140429-0701.jpg
The yearly migration of the Bar-tailed Godwit is among the most awe-inspiring in the bird world. Each fall it makes a seven-to-nine-day, 7,200-mile flight from coastal western Alaska to New Zealand where it spends the winter—the longest known nonstop migratory flight. In order to do so, the bird undergoes a number of dramatic physiological changes including a rapid shrinkage of its digestive organs in order to make room for more flight muscle, fat, and heart mass. The godwit does not...