Quantcast
Connect with us

Colourful birds quicker to evolve, says study

Published

on

Birds with multiple versions of their colour patterns evolved into new species more quickly than those with uniform plumage, Australian researchers revealed in a significant genetic study published Thursday.

The University of Melbourne research, published in “Nature”, found that birds with more than one version of its markings such as the Gouldian finch, which can have a red, black or yellow head, “rapidly” evolved into new species.

ADVERTISEMENT

The study proves a theory in evolutionary biology first proposed 60 years ago and helps shed light on the processes that create biodiversity, according to lead researcher Devi Stuart-Fox.

“We’re trying to figure out how and why new species evolve… the triggers and catalysts,” she said.

“Why will some populations evolve into new species while others just stay the same for millions and millions and millions of years?”

Though they look different, the finches in the study coexist within a single population and Stuart-Fox said the study found they evolved into genetically new species much faster than uniformly-coloured birds.

“This is the first time that we’ve been able to show that it actually speeds up speciation rates or rates of evolution,” she added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hawks, eagles, owls and nightjars were the focus of the Melbourne study but birds are not the only animals with so-called “colour polymorphic” species — it was also a feature of fish, lizards, butterflies and snails.

The different colour versions often varied in things like physiology and behaviour and Stuart-Fox said their inclusion within a single population “might allow (it) to exist in a broader range of environments”.

Some researchers were examining whether and how colour polymorphism contributed to species’ resilience and adaptability to external factors such as habitat loss and climate change, she added.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Here is how the 99% can force the 1% to defeat COVID-19

Published

on

By

The government's response to the pandemic has further enriched the wealthy, while everyday people, especially Black and Brown workers, face sickness, death, and destitution. Government handouts to the rich are unsurprising, since they repeat the century-old pattern of "rescue packages", but another pattern is more perplexing: why have business leaders not stepped up to demand a robust public health response, which would ultimately be in their own self-interest? The titans of industry have mostly stood by in the face of Trump's criminal negligence, which has devastated much of the 99% but also endangers the wealthy.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump Organization planning ‘high-end’ retirement community — with 225 properties — on foreign soil: report

Published

on

The Trump Organization is planning a massive real estate development, according to a new report by Martyn McLaughlin in The Scotsman.

"In what would be one of the most ambitious and expensive foreign projects undertaken by Donald Trump’s family business since he assumed the presidency, his company has commissioned a detailed masterplan to develop as many as 225 properties, as well as leisure facilities and shops, on an expanse of rolling farmland adjacent to Turnberry’s lauded Ailsa course, a four-time host of golf’s Open Championship," the Scottish newspaper reported.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

WATCH: Video shows how Trump makes his caddie hang on to the back of the golf cart

Published

on

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and economic catastrophe, the leader of the free world spent the weekend golfing at his private, for-profit golf course in Virginia.

For the second day in a row, Donald Trump's presidential motorcade traveled to Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.

"Today marks the president’s 86th day trip to Sterling," reported HuffPost correspondent S.V. Dáte, who was the White House pool reporter for print covering the day's events.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image