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Colourful birds quicker to evolve, says study

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Giuliani pummeled by ex-press secretary for ‘returning to the scene of the crime’ to create Ukraine chaos

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On CNN Saturday, Rudy Giuliani's former mayoral press secretary Ken Frydman harshly criticized his former boss for his ongoing efforts in the Ukraine scheme.

"As you've watched the former mayor over the last several years, have you identified a point at which things shifted for the man who I guess still is for some known at America's Mayor?" asked anchor Victor Blackwell."

"Well, yeah. I think when he went into business with Donald Trump," said Frydman. "You saw a — a severe change in his personality. He had a zealous need to make money, to be relevant. To be part of the political process. And you know right now he's making, I think, ill-advised decisions, like returning to the scene of the crime, Ukraine, to make a propagandist documentary. Almost as if he's playing, he and the president, are playing, 'catch me if you can.' The president will not participate in the impeachment hearings, and Rudy is off in the Ukraine doubling down."

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‘Unbelievable’: Ex-Trump official stunned president is still letting Giuliani run around unchecked in Ukraine

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In a Washington Post report on the continuing attempts by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to dig up dirt on political opponents -- at the same time that President Donald Trump is facing impeachment for pressuring Ukraine with the promise of aid for the same -- a former Trump administration official expressed shock that Giuliani hasn't been told to stop.

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‘Hell no’: Texans join forces to stop Trump from stealing their land

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President Donald Trump's pledge to build a wall at the southern border with Mexico has been a huge winner with his base. But there is one group of people who are not happy: the Texans who actually live in the region where the wall would be built.

According to the Washington Post, many people in the region have no intention of letting the federal government seize their land to construct the wall, like Afghanistan war veteran Salvador Castillo of Brownsville, who received a letter from officials demanding unlimited access to and use of his land, which gradually escalated into a lawsuit.

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