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09 Jan
New ‘Big Birds’ in Galápagos arose super fast
category: Blog
Created: 09 January 2018
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New ‘Big Birds’ in Galápagos arose super fast

The process of speciation usually takes millions years depending on many natural factors. But for a new species of finches, it happened in just two generations, and some scientists were able to see this magnificent process.

The new lineage comes from a process of hybridization of two different species of Darwin’s finches.

While conducting the field work on Daphne Major a few decades ago, Rosemary and Peter Grant, Princeton University researchers, observed an immigrant male that sang an unusual song, and were different in size from all resident species on the island.

“The interesting aspect of this study is that a hybridization between two distinct species led to the development of a new lineage that after only two generations behaved as any other species of Darwin’s finches,” says Leif Andersson, a visiting professor in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

“If a naturalist had come to Daphne Major island without knowing that this lineage arose very recently it would have been recognized as one of the four species on the island. This clearly demonstrates the value of long-running field studies.”

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Source: http://www.futurity.org/