Eyelids like seat belts

Woodpeckers and headaches. Wouldn’t you get a headache if you banged your head against a tree 12,000 times a day? Luckily for Woodpeckers the only ones who survived to breed have numerous adaptations to head banging. Despite their love of heavy rock and a guilty pleasure of liking later Status Quo, Woodpeckers survive their head banging without ill effects. They have incredible neck muscles, a compressible bone in their skull and eyelids which act as seat belts for their eyeballs. Despite a heavy session of head banging they won’t end up ‘eyeballs-out’.

Here’s a female Great Spotted Woodpecker in its natural habitat; on a tree.

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

And of course, in common with other hand bangers, they have very small brains.

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