Evolution

Galapagos finch seen becoming new species

Galapagos finch seen becoming new species

Birds, Evolution, New Species, News in Nature November 24, 2017 at 11:13 am

A population of finches on the Galapagos has been discovered in the process of becoming a new species. In 1981, researchers noticed the arrival of a male of a non-native species on a tiny Galapagos island called Daphne Major.  They noticed that this male, a large cactus finch, proceeded to mate with a female of one of the local species, a medium ground finch, producing fertile young. The researchers then followed the entire population of finches on a tiny Galapagos island called Daphne Major, for thirty-six years, and so were able to watch the speciation in progress. This new finch populationRead More

A new flower of the Shetland Islands, which has quickly evolved from an introduced species

A new flower of the Shetland Islands, which has quickly evolved from an introduced species

Evolution, New Species, Plants October 24, 2017 at 10:21 am

The beautiful yellow, red-spotted flower is a polyploid, and derivative of a non polyploid species which was introduced into Scotland less than 200 years ago.  Its ancestor was a non-native species introduced to the British Isles, probably from Alaska.

Song experiments reveal many possible new tropical bird species

Song experiments reveal many possible new tropical bird species

Birds, Evolution, Science News, Species Discovery September 13, 2017 at 9:27 am

Researchers from the University of British Columbia and Cornell University compared two methods–analysis in the lab and experiments in the field–for 72 pairs of related but geographically separated bird populations in Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador.  The new study shows that pairs of birds that failed to recognize each other are currently categorized as members of the same species, suggesting that current taxonomy does not reflect actual bird behavior when it comes to song.  The researchers propose that 21 such pairs should be recognized as separate species based on song discrimination and that playback experiments should be the standard forRead More

A potentially new species of finch has co-evolved with Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine

A potentially new species of finch has co-evolved with Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine

Birds, Evolution, New Species November 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Genetic analysis shows that the South Hills crossbill coevolved with the Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine, a striking example of coevolution driving speciation within perhaps as little as 6000 years.  “This is maybe the best and only clear example of reciprocal adaptation between two species contributing directly to the process of speciation”.

New ‘deadbeat’ ant evolved by mooching off its relatives

New ‘deadbeat’ ant evolved by mooching off its relatives

Evolution, Insects, New Species August 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm

A newly-discovered species of ant supports a controversial theory of species formation.  The ant, known to live only under a single eucalyptus tree on the São Paulo State University campus in Brazil, branched off from its original species while living in the same colony, something thought rare in current models of evolutionary development.