The rare Flightless Cormorant of Galapagos Islands is an unusual species. It is restricted to less than 400 km. of coastline along Fernandina and Isabela Islands, where cool Humboldt currents cause an upwelling of nutrient-rich waters. Diving for fish and small octopuses in a predator-free environment, the birds eventually lost the ability to fly. The wings are reduced in size about a third, and the breastbone keel and musculature are atrophied, while the legs are more powerful. The body feathers are denser and more hair-like than those of cormorants that fly. This bird's evolutionary affinities were unknown until D.N.A. analysis was available.
* Ivorine, a smooth, slick, translucent plastic in use for about 100 years as a substitute for ivory, is the same material used for ping pong balls. Here, the paint layer is thin so light will pass through it and reflect back to the viewer, giving the illusion that the paint is glowing.