Colourful birds `evolve faster`
Melbourne: Colourful birds evolve into new species faster than those with only one colour form, according to a new research.
A team at the University of Melbourne has found that avians with multiple plumage colour forms within in the same population evolve faster, confirming a 60-year-old evolution theory, the `Nature` journal reported.
The study used information from birdwatchers and geneticists accumulated over decades.
The link between having more than one colour variation (colour polymorphism) like the iconic red, black or yellow headed Gouldian finches, and faster evolution of new species was predicted in the 1950s by famous scientists such as Julian Huxley, but this is the first study to confirm the theory.
"By confirming a major theory in evolutionary biology, we are able to understand a lot more about the processes that create biodiversity. We found that in three families of birds of prey, the hawks and eagles, the owls and the nightjars, the presence of multiple colour forms leads to rapid generation of new species," Dr Devi Stuart-Fox, who led the team, said.
The team focused on birds because although colour polymorphism occurs in many animals (such as fish, lizards, butterflies and snails), there is a wealth of information on colour variation in birds, as well as on species classification (taxonomy), partly thanks to birdwatchers.
"We looked at five bird families with a high proportion of colour polymorphism and compared their rates of evolution with those with only one colour form," Dr Stuart-Fox said.
By modelling evolutionary rates using publicly available genetic information accumulated over a quarter of a century, the study found that colour polymorphism speeds up the generation of new species.
The study found that colour polymorphic species were younger not only in the birds of prey but in the songbirds, which account for more than half of the world`s bird species.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- One year of Modi govt: PM Modi addresses mega rally in Mathura Part-II
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- UBSE Results 2015 (ubse.uk.gov.in): Uttarakhand 12th Result 2015 to be announced today at 11 AM
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow
- CBSE Class X Board Results 2015 to declared tomorrow
- Salman Khan's `Bajrangi Bhaijaan` teaser to be out in two days?
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- What couldn't be done in last 10 years, NDA govt did in one year: Smriti Irani in Amethi