The Streby Lab
Actionable Science for Evolutionarily Rational Conservation and Management
Okay, admittedly, physics busted this one long before we got to it. And you might wonder if this is really an assumption that needed anyone's attention. Believe it or not, this is a necessary assumption underlying the Commentary published in Current Biology about our tornado paper. The authors argued that the movements we reported were likely caused by shading error in the geolocator data. You first must get past their demonstrably false assumption that there was shade present during all the sunrise and sunset transitions throughout the period reported in our paper. Then, assuming that shade was there, the next required assumption is that the shade caused the sun to appear to rise early (more light) for some birds but not others in the same location, and it caused the sun to appear to set late (more light) for some birds but not others in the same location.
We explained these fatal flaws in the Commentary the first time it was submitted to and rejected by Current Biology 2 years earlier. That first version also included an argument about how birds can't fly as far or as fast as our paper suggested. That assertion has also been demonstrated to be false in several studies, including papers published by some of the same authors as were on the commentary. A strange experience, indeed.
You be the judge: