he Great Hornbill is a large bird, 95–130 cm (37–51 in) long, with a 152 cm (60 in) wingspan and a weight of 2.15–4 kg (4.7-8.8 lbs). It is the heaviest, but not the longest, Asian hornbill. The most prominent feature of the hornbill is the bright yellow and black casque on top of its massive bill. The casque appears U-shaped when viewed from the front and the top is concave with two ridges along the sides that form points in the front, a reference to which is made in the Latin species epithet bicornis. The casque is hollow and serves no known purpose although they are believed to be the result of sexual selection. Male hornbills have been known to indulge in aerial casque butting, with birds striking each other in flight.Females are smaller than males and have bluish-white instead of red eyes although the orbital skin is pinkish. Like other hornbills, they have prominent "eyelashes". The back of the casque is reddish in females while the underside of the front and back of the casque is black in males. The male spreads the preen gland secretion which is yellow onto the primaries and bill to give them the bright yellow colour. The commissure of the beak is black and has a serrated and worn edge with age. The wing beats are heavy and the sound produced by birds in flight can be heard from a distance. The sound produced has been likened to the puffing of a steam locomotive starting up. The flight involves stiff flaps followed by glides with the fingers splayed and upcurled. They are sometimes known to fly at great height over forests.
For the developers at New York start-up Networked Organisms, smartphones are the butterfly nets of the 21st Century. Their tool, Project Noah, lets people upload photos of plants and wildlife around them, creating a map of the natural world and contributing to scientific research in the process.
Bespectacled scientists of yore would carry around hefty field guides, made up of hundreds of pages of text and photos. But these days, smartphone owners have a lighter option: an app called Project Noah, which aims to help people identify plants and animals as well as collect data from "citizen scientists" about where certain species are located.
Project Noah enables us to be part of a more focused online community where we can learn more about wildlife around us and contribute to scientific research. It pulls participants into deeper, more meaningful engagement by enabling people to go on “missions” to collectively map changes based on sightings.
A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future. Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document the wildlife they encounter, using a purpose built phone app and web community. In addition to the virtual "collection" of species, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.